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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Fugitive

***** The Fugitive. Action/adventure.

Directed by: Andrew Davis

Starring: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

I watched this one piecemeal on video while exercising. Let me tell you, it was effective. Between taking my mind off what I was doing, and raising my adrenaline levels, it made for some intense workouts.

It was based on the TV series, which I never saw, so I don't have a basis for comparison.

The plot is fairly simple. Vascular surgeon Dr. Richard Kimball (Harrison Ford) returns home and finds his wife murdered. He's arrested, tried, and convicted of the crime, but ends up escaping when a prison transport bus crashes. U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) is in charge of the task force hunting for him. Dr. Kimball realizes that the only way to help himself is to discover who really killed his wife--the one-armed man--and who's behind it.

There's a perfect balance here between chase scenes, suspense, and unraveling clues. The chase scenes and the more static suspense scenes didn't drag on until (as happens far too frequently) I got fatigued, and the detective work by both sides wasn't a series of boring sitting-and-thinking scenes, either.

Aside: note to filmmakers: regardless of the type of scene, if it goes on too long, it gets boring (yes, including sex scenes--I've watched enough boring porn movies to know).

It doesn't hurt that the movie stars Tommy Lee Jones, either. Or that he fit the role perfectly. As did Harrison Ford. Though Dr. Kimball was a less exciting character, it made sense that he'd behave the way Ford portrayed him--bewildered, angry, completely out of his depth, but smart and determined. So much so that for a space of time I could believe it wasn't a movie at all.

It's one of my favorites, and one I don't mind re-watching over and over again.


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