Everett Collection
Keith Staskiewicz
August 30, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Fugitive

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
130 minutes
performer
David Janssen, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Julianne Moore, Joe Pantoliano, Sela Ward
director
Andrew Davis
author
David Twohy
genre
Drama, ActionAdventure, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an A-

Like a broken clock or a blind squirrel, the huge, groaning Hollywood blockbuster apparatus occasionally gets something right: a movie where all the parts work magnificently. The Fugitive (1993, 2 hrs., 10 mins., PG-13) is one of those films. While director Andrew Davis never came close to reproducing this level of filmmaking in his subsequent work (which includes 2002’s Collateral Damage), his high-adrenaline wrong-man thriller is a perfect study in how to make a big-budget action flick that stays grounded in character without ever letting up on the throttle. Now, 20 years after its initial release, the film is back with a special-edition Blu-ray.

Harrison Ford has always been more of a physical actor than an emotional one, but here he gives one of his career-best turns as Richard Kimble, a doctor framed for the murder of his wife, which was actually perpetrated by a one-armed man. The Fugitive is really two chase films in one: Kimble’s escape attempt is twinned with the manhunt to catch him, led by Tommy Lee Jones’ no-nonsense, motormouthed federal agent, a Javert propelled not by personal grievance but by an unwavering hyper-professionalism. The performance is a distillation of Jones’ archetype, and he won an Oscar for his work. There’s something deeply gripping about his and Ford’s Tom and Jerry routine, a cat-and-mouse game in which you’re rooting for both sides even as they’re at odds with each other. The Blu-ray’s EXTRAS include a new half-hour documentary — with interviews from the cast’s big guns — that is enjoyable if not revelatory. No matter. The film itself is still a locomotive wonder. Once it starts running, the audience can’t help but give chase. A-

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