Plot: What’s it about?
So what is so good about ‘The Fugutive’ that makes everyone like it so much? Personally, I don’t really know. It has a quality about it that a lot of other movies don’t have. While Harrison Ford plays the part of Dr. Richard Kimble to a tee, he is, in all senses of the word…an antagonist (the bad guy). When you look at it through a strict, letter of the law type of viewpoint, that is the only way that it comes up. Richard Kimble killed his wife, he has been caught, apprehended, tried, sentenced and convicted of murder. End of story. Richard Kimble is guilty. Richard also has a member of law enforcement that is hunting him down like a dog. Deputy Samuel Gerard sees things in black and white. Richard Kimble is guilty, he is running from the law, he must be apprehended and returned back to jail. No questions asked. On the other hand, if you look at it through the director, Andrew Davis’, eyes…Dr. Richard Kimble is innocent, and the audience knows that he is innocent. He didn’t kill his wife, he was performing surgery. A one-armed man killed his wife, all he has to do is prove it! He can’t. This is where The Fugitive takes off…
Richard Kimble has been sentenced to life in prision for the murder of his wife. Is he innocent? Yes. We (the audience) know that. The law doesn’t. So when his bus that is leading him to prision, gets in a wreck and he is set free, what does he do? He runs. He runs for freedom, because he knows that the only way that he can have any sort of a normal life is to prove his innocence. To quote a line of the movie: “I am trying to solve a puzzle here”. Richard is trying to find out why his wife was killed and who killed her. Why was this mysterious one-armed man behind all of this? We see, throughout the course of the movie, that a drug called Provasic was set to be approved by the FDA. Only thing was that Dr. Kimble had a few patients that weren’t doing so well on it. Dr. Kimble, being the good doctor that he is, reported it and planned not to give it his endorsement. This, of course, angered some higher-ups in the pharmaceutical industry and they intended to deal with him (motive). So this sets up the entire storyline.
It is this type of cat and mouse game, this type of insecurity and suspense that makes The Fugutive one of the best modern day thrillers. We see Kimble running for his life and narrowly missing being captured by the Illinois US Marshals. So why do we root for the “bad” guy? Because it’s so fun, and we all have a different idea of who and what the bad guy may or may not be. If you’ve never seen The Fugutive, take two hours our of your day and give it a listen and a watch…you wil NOT be diasppointed. The Fugutive was not only nominated for Best Picture (which should say a lot there), but was one of the most popular movies of 1993. With this kind of wide reception, you can’t help but to be sucked in to it’s wake. Highly recommended!
Video: How does it look?
The Fugutive was one of the first DVD’s on the market, it’s a fact. The 1.85:1 pictue looks absolutely flawless. It’s this kind of high standard that set up all the other movies to be 16:9 enhanced. Colors are dead on, detail is crystal clear an no shimmering was found at all. Plenty of skyline shots of Chicago, and all look brilliant. Even the green of the river during the St. Patrick’s Day parade looks brilliant. A fine transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
If there’s anything better than the actual storyline (which there isn’t) in this movie, then it has to be the sound. A reference quality demo of the famous “train wreck” scene is still a standard to live up to. They used a real bus and a real train, even back then, and it sounds positively wonderful. Crank up the subwoofer, crank up all your speakers and let ‘The Fugutive’ amaze you with it’s sound!
Supplements: What are the extras?
Unfortunately, this is where the movie comes up short. While it sports the normal Warner features (trailer, production notes and cast bios), that’s all it has. Now Warner has (or will, depending on when this review is read) that they are not above remastering titles and re-releasing them; take Interview With the Vampire, Lethal Weapon 1-3, Twister and GoodFellas. They all were released around the same time as The Fugutive (on DVD), so there is hope for a Special Edition of this. The movie was popular enough financially and critically to warrant one, I think. Time will tell, until then…this will have to do. And you know what? It’s not that bad.