Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Fugitive

Every actor has a gimmick that features in each film. For some of us, it's what draws us to our favorite players. For others, it's the element we love to scrutinize. Just think: have you ever seen a Tom Cruise movie where we wasn't running and grimmacing? Take for example Harrison Ford's husky, contempuous delivery of the pivotal line of a film. It's there in every one. Will he perpetually play Han Solo or Indiana Jones? How about Tommy Lee Jones rattling off about 50 words in the space a few spare seconds? Well, for me, as I flipped through the channels the other night and landed on TBS and their abbreviated version of the 1993 chase thriller, I was hooked once again by the lines:

"Listen up ladies and gentlemen. Our fugitive has been on the run for 90 minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground, barring injury, is four miles an hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want out of each and every one of you is a hard target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farm house, hen house, outhouse and dog house in that area... Go get him!"

It's a great movie: it goes by at break neck pace, there's a great cast, even better location shots - it's set in around Chicago [for fun, find all the liberties they take with street names and landmarks - of course there's no Balbo "L" stop!], it's hugely improbable - but that's part of the fun. But above all, my money is on Tommy Lee Jones - he saves the picture from falling apart with all the pitfalls of an action thriller. No wonder he landed the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Samuel Gerard. Oh yeah, it's based on the TV series - but just barely, not enough to upset the loyalists. Good clean Hollywood fun.

3 out of 5 stars


Post a Comment

<< Home