The Fugi­tive

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - YOUR MOVIE PLANNER -

Hav­ing worked a cer­tain magic on Steven Sea­gal the pre­vi­ous year – in the un­ex­pect­edly ex­cel­lent Un­der Siege – di­rec­tor An­drew Davis scored his other big­gest hit with this mile-a-minute re­work­ing of the pop­u­lar 1960s se­ries. Re­put­edly based on – though al­ways de­nied – a very sim­i­lar, real-life mur­der case (that of Amer­i­can neu­ro­sur­geon Sam Shep­pard), the TV hit came sand­wiched be­tween all those great para­noia thrillers of the 1950s and the con­spir­acy thrillers of the 1970s. With its Hitch­cock­ian themes, it em­bod­ied a na­tion’s fears – yet it’s a for­mula that is ripe forfo an up­date in any ddecade... Ha­Har­ri­son Ford (w (who, thanks to an im­pres­sive ar ar­ray of dis­guises, is vir­tu­ally unr un­recog­nis­able for muc much of the film) leaves thet car­toon­ish hheroics,i if nott theth phys­i­cal­ity,h i of the In­di­ana Jones fran­chise be­hind him as Richard Kim­ble, the every­man hero of this David and Go­liath tale.

An up­stand­ing doc­tor, Kim­ble is sen­tenced to death af­ter be­ing wrongly con­victed of his wife’s mur­der, but seizes the chance to make his es­cape, and sets about try­ing to track down the real guilty party. Tommy Lee Jones – who won an Os­car for his per­for­mance here, and would re­turn five years later for a ser­vice­able spin-off film all of his own (US Mar­shals) – is Sam Ger­ard, the Deputy Mar­shal in­struct­ing his team to search ev­ery ‘gas sta­tion, res­i­dence, ware­house, farm­house, hen­house, out­house and dog­house’ in pur­suit of the wanted man.

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