The Fugitive

The FugitiveDoctor Richard Kimble is rich, successful, and happy–until his wife is brutally murdered one night.  Now, not only is his happiness shattered, but the police and the courts believe that he is the murderer.

When Richard escapes on the way to his execution, he starts running.  At first he’s only running for his life, but as time goes on, he begins to try to track down the one-armed man who he knows killed his wife.

But U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard and his clever and faithful entourage are hot on Richard’s trail, doing anything and everything they can to track him down and bring him to “justice.”

Can Richard evade the marshalls and the police when the whole country knows his name, and his face?  Can he discover the identity of his wife’s killer and ensure that justice is done?  And is there more behind all this than meets the eye?

The Good

Richard Kimble is an admirable character.  His love for his wife before she dies, and his courageous persistence in tracking down her murderer show show his faithfulness toward her, which endures after her death.  His compassion is evident throughout the film, as he repeatedly goes out of his way to protect and care for others, even when it endangers his own life.

He also stands up for truth even when it takes everything from him.  When he discovers that a recently developed drug is causing liver damage, he isn’t afraid to call out the drug company that is corruptly marketing it.  He could have kept quiet, and if he had, his wife would not have been killed, and he would have remained safe and happy.  But he did what was right, and fought for justice all the way.

Interestingly, the antagonist, Samuel Gerard, is also an admirable man.  He has as strong a sense of justice and right as Richard does, but for Gerard, carrying that out means doing his job and recapturing a convicted felon.  He pursues that end with as much zeal and perseverance as Richard pursues his.

In the end, both men are able to discover the truth, and to merge their goals into one:  to protect the public and bring down the man who is truly responsible.

The Bad

The film is both scary and at times violent.  The brutal murder of Richard’s wife is shown in multiple flashbacks, not in a gory way, but still disturbing.  Near the beginning of the film, the convicts are being bused to prison, and one of them vomits and nearly chokes, then plunges a knife into the guard who comes to check on him.  Prisoners are shot, the bus crashes on some train tracks, and Richard and a couple others just barely make it out of the bus.  Richard is wounded, and is later shown stitching himself up in a hospital.  Another prisoner is shot later in the film, and the fight at the end is intense and violent.  Needless to say, there is a fair amount of blood in the film.

The medical aspect might be disturbing to some sensitive viewers.   As I mentioned, Richard stitches his own wound, an operation is shown, and a number of injured children are at one point brought into a hospital with bad injuries.

In a flashback, Richard and his wife kiss in bed.  Reference is made to one convict “shacking up” with someone, and a woman suggestively asks Richard if he needs a ride at one point.  Richard rents a small apartment in a woman’s basement, and the woman’s son is later revealed to be a drug dealer.  Richard is shown shirtless as he stitches his wound, and there are several scantily clad women shown at a party near the beginning.

Also very concerning is the large amount of language.  The characters seem especially fond of the “s” word, which is used over and over.  There are some other expletives sprinkled throughout as well.

Overall, The Fugitive is an exciting, fun, intense film that is well-worth seeing, if you can handle the violence and don’t mind the language.  Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones play the leads brilliantly, the story is well-crafted, and the message of fighting for justice no matter what is one that is inspiring and very much needed.

  1. Sounds like one to put on the list! Thanks for the review.

      • Grace Pennington
      • May 9th, 2012

      I hope you enjoy it if you see it!

  2. Awesome movie. Tommy Lee Jones’s character was a scene-stealer, in my opinion – he had that manly doggedness and swagger which was just fun to watch. 🙂

      • Grace Pennington
      • May 9th, 2012

      Totally agree, Corey! Thanks for commenting!

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