James Proclaims (6)

Image result for the fugitive

It’s a valid criticism of modern cinema that much of the current output comes in the form of sequels (and indeed prequels), or remakes/reboots of movies that already exist. Or multiple adaptations of the same novels. Or big screen reimaginings of much-loved TV series. The resurgence of the small screen, thanks in part to online platforms, has also seen a trend in the opposite direction – TV series are now being made that are re-imaginings of much-loved movies. There is, apparently, a dearth of new ideas. Or more likely there is a dearth of new ideas that anyone is prepared to take a financial risk on.

Then again, if it’s become more prolific in recent times, it’s clearly a practice that has been around for a while.

A lot of films I saw in my youth were big screen adaptations of older TV shows and, to be fair, done in the right way, the results can be some pretty decent movies.

1993’s The Fugitive is one such example.

Based on a 1960s TV series of the same name (that I have, admittedly never seen – although it was apparently pretty good) The Fugitive tells the tale of Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) a man wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. Through a road traffic accident (that is admittedly quite convenient but fairly important to the narrative) he manages to escape the bus that is transporting him to death row. Once free he has to juggle the seemingly impossible task of proving his innocence while at the same time not getting caught. Pursuing him with a dogged determination is Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones – winning a whole raft of awards for his performance), a man who is rather less concerned with whether or not Kimble is guilty than with the fact that Kimble’s continuing freedom wounds his professional pride.

The plot holds few surprises, we know Kimble is innocent, we assume correctly that he’ll prove that innocence and the bad guy, when he is finally revealed, is pretty much the most obvious candidate. Were he wearing a T-shirt from the outset with the logo “I’m the bad guy” emblazoned across it, the revelation of his villainous status would hardly be any less of a bombshell.

It’s not the outcome that thrills but rather the journey it takes to get there. The pace and tension within the film is relentless. If there are plot holes and clichés running throughout the narrative it’s pretty hard to care. Add to the mix strong performances from both Ford and Jones and The Fugitive is a thriller that actually manages to thrill.

Whether it’s especially faithful to its source material seems irrelevant when the resulting movie is this good.

It’s a shame that can’t always be said of remakes, reboots and adaptations.

 

9 thoughts on “Films I Watched When I Was Younger – Issue 3: The Fugitive

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the fugitive, but I know my dad owns a copy of the film and the book. Maybe I’ll look into it. But I do agree that most everything around is a remake or reboot or what have you. And it’s got to stop! Like sure, I have quite enjoyed the revamp of old 70’s classic TV like Hawaii five-0 or SWAT but those are new to me. In movies, I crave new ideas, new characters, new plot lines to follow. Except for the Avengers – they may stay the same for all eternity but only with the cast as it was up to Age of Ultron. Enough with all the extra add-ons…(I have never read the comics so I have no appreciation for the extra characters)….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind the add-ons but I think I’m a bit of a sucker for superhero films. But superhero films are meant to big and loud and not all that original so they;re all fine with me but the lack of originality elsewhere does bother me a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great film – plus I have a soft spot for anything that takes place in my hometown of Chicago. I agree with you that most remakes aren’t this good. I’m particularly annoyed with most live-action remakes of cartoons or books, like the Paddington movies. I haven’t seen them, but they look stupid and the “animals” look downright creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with the live-action cartoons mostly being stupid, but I actually did quite like Paddington a little bit. Although the story did get a bit stupid towards the end and I haven;t seen the sequel so on reflection perhaps I didn’t like it all that much…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG, I so agree, I loved the film, those two really carried the film through. I have tried to search for it again, feeling nostalgic but I had found other film with similar names which had no bearing on this film. I am so glad to have found this page. Casablanca is another brilliant film which I would love remade but could they find the same gut feeling actors, I don’t think so but it would be worth finding out.

    Liked by 1 person

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