Opening Statement

Dr. Kimble is framed for the murder of his wife and evades a nationwide manhunt while searching for the real killer.

Review

Based on the iconic television series of the same name. Harrison Ford Stars as Dr. Richard Kimble, a skilled surgeon who comes home from a party to find his wife brutally murdered. The police quickly finger him as the murderer and faster than you can say mugshot, have him arrested and sent to trial.

The fugitive dr kimble Robert Odierna Criminal Movie ReviewsIt was the one armed man.

After his conviction and sentencing, Kimble is on a prison transport bus when a fight breaks out causing a spectacular and brutal crash scene and the escape of most of the surviving prisoners. At first dazed and out of options. Kimble quickly begins to adapt to life as a fugitive and goes off in pursuit of the mysterious one armed man who killed his wife.

The fugitive bus crash Robert Odierna Criminal Movie ReviewsStill from the crash scene. One of the best practical FX shots ever.

Kimble is pursued by US Marshall Gerard, who quickly picks up his trail and spends the rest of the movie in close pursuit. He is aided by a rogues gallery of agents, each with their own skill set and quirks.

The fugitive Marshall Gerard and company Robert Odierna Criminal Movie ReviewsUS Marshall Gerard and his posse

Fortunately Kimble has a number of friends and colleagues of his own who believe his innocence and aid his search for justice. This search and US Marshall Gerard’s pursuit are nicely paralleled in the movie and we can see the similarities and differences in their respective stories. Both are intelligent, creative and determined individuals used to winning and neither one lets up through the story.

Condensing the story into a single movie neatly solves a problem that comes up with any fugitive style story. How do you keep your protagonist out of the hands of the authorities without making them the live action equivalent of the poor coyote endlessly chasing that roadrunner? The endless escapes and near misses required in a weekly TV series quickly start to look contrived and reduce the tension the audience needs to stay engaged in the show.

The shorter span of the film allows Kimble and Gerard to play cat and mouse without this problem. Gerard doesn’t care about Kimble’s circumstances or story. All that matters to him is that there is a fugitive on the run and he will capture him. This is shown in an iconic confrontation on a hydropower dam early in the film.

The fugitive dive Robert Odierna Criminal Movie ReviewsAnother great scene and stunt.

Advancing forensic science and the impact of the computer age as it existed in 1993 are also addressed. Kimble and Gerard both rely on the power of these technologies in their parallel storylines. The movie also addressed the issue of ID, showing Kimble learning how to forge the identity documents needed to operate in modern society. Something frequently glossed over in the TV show.

The film ends in a spectacular sequence of well designed fight scenes on and L-train, through a hotel and on the roof of a highrise as Kimble gets to the bottom of the conspiracy against him.

Verdict: 4.5 Gavels out of 5

Well produced film version of a TV classic. Good performances and fast pacing make this man on the run story a must see for any film fan.

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