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The Fugitive

Posted by martinteller on August 28, 2014

This’ll be a short review, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to pick apart here.  It’s a really solid action thriller.  The performances by Ford and Jones click nicely (with bonus Jane Lynch out of nowhere).  The one-liners are actually kind of clever and don’t feel awkward or dumb.  There’s a good flow of tension and release, with scenarios that grab and hold your attention.  Director Andrew Davis is a Chicago native.  He also directed The Package, which I haven’t seen but scenes were shot at a Chinese restaurant just down the block from where I grew up.  Davis must be a South Sider (one of his early films is called Stony Island).  You rarely see the South Side in movies unless it’s a trip to the projects/ghetto.  So it was nice to see some familiar-looking territory that wasn’t just the downtown area.  I’m pretty sure Sykes’s house is right in the neighborhood where my best friend lived.

Any complaints are fairly minor.  The “upper-class bad guy with a vaguely foreign accent” is a 90’s action trope that’s a little tired now.  They don’t bother to explain how Kimble survives a “one in a million” fall.  And the film isn’t breaking any new ground or exploring themes with any depth at all.  But as a compelling, entertaining thriller, it does the job well.  Some might think the word “entertaining” is damning with faint praise, but I’ve got no problem with pure entertainment if it’s pulled off without making me groan.  Is there a lot of substance here?  Does it use cinematic technique in inventive ways to illuminate the human condition?  No, but it is lots of fun.  Rating: Very Good (83)


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