The Fugitive, 1993.
Directed by Andrew Davis.
Starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Andreas Katsulas, and Jeroen Krabbé.
The Fugitive celebrates its 30th anniversary with a new 4K Ultra HD edition from Warner Bros. The film has undergone restoration work, leaving it in a condition that should be the final purchase by fans for video and/or audio reasons. However, the studio didn’t include any new bonus features, so I suppose another release with some new extras is always a possibility. A code for a digital copy is included too.
When I reviewed Witness on 4K Ultra HD, I noted that it seemed like an odd choice for Harrison Ford at the time, given the box office success he had recently experienced as a genre film star. However, that has been the exception rather than the rule for much of his career, as 1993’s The Fugitive demonstrates.
Based on the 1960s era TV series of the same name, the film casts Harrison Ford as the titular fugitive, Dr. Richard Kimble, who’s been arrested for the death of his wife. A one-armed man was the actual culprit, however, and when Kimble makes an escape during a prisoner transfer, he sets out to find the real murderer.
US Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) is right behind him, however, and Kimble must evade capture while trying to clear his name. The Fugitive is a taut action film that deserved its box office success and seven Oscar nominations, winning the statue for Best Supporting Actor (Jones).
For the film’s 30th anniversary, Warner Bros. has presented its debut on 4K Ultra HD, giving it a thorough restoration that’s been approved by director Andrew Davis. Its presentation on Blu-ray for its 20th anniversary in 2013 was solid, and this edition ups that quality and puts it in the realm of “as good as it gets” in today’s home theater world. If you’re a fan, you shouldn’t need to upgrade again for video and/or audio reasons.
The studio didn’t commission any new extras for this release, although it did include a code for a digital copy. This disc hasn’t reached store shelves as I write this, but I assume many or all of the extras will appear with the digital version when the street date rolls around, which has happened with other Warner Bros. 4K Ultra HD releases. I was able to redeem my code ahead of time, but I only see the film when I look at its entry in my Movies Anywhere account.
At least Warner Bros. didn’t leave the extras off the disc, which they’ve done with some recent 4K Ultra HD releases. However, fans should note that the pilot episode from the 2000 TV series is missing from the bonus features found on the 2013 Blu-ray.
Here’s what you’ll find on this new 4K disc:
• Commentary track: Davis and Jones do a joint commentary for this track, which is packed with a lot of useful information and only has a few spots of dead air and “Let’s just describe what we’re seeing onscreen right now” moments. Too bad Ford couldn’t join them.
• Introduction with Andrew Davis, Harrison Ford, and Tommy Lee Jones (2 minutes): A hold-over from the DVD days, this was the kind of extra studios used to include to make sure viewers knew how special a certain release was. It feels quaint today, although Davis and Jones have some fun with it.
• The Fugitive: The Thrill of the Chase (28.5 minutes): Created for the 2013 Blu-ray, this making-of features Davis, Jones, Ford, and others looking back on the production and discussing why it has remained a fan favorite.
• On the Run with The Fugitive (23 minutes): Continuing from the previous bonus feature, this is a discussion of the locales used when shooting the film. The participants also touch on the fact that script rewrites were happening on set, which can be a harbinger of disaster but in this instance produced magic.
• Derailed: Anatomy of a Train Wreck (9 minutes): Kimble’s escape includes the prison bus colliding with a train, and this is an in-depth look at the filming of a spectacular moment that was pulled off without any computer-generated effects.
The theatrical trailer rounds out the platter.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★