The Fugitive


An esteemed doctor on the run (Harrison Ford), a dogged U.S. marshal (Tommy Lee Jones) on his trail, a one-armed killer, and… F. Lee Bailey? These disparate elements all come together to form a delectable whole in Andrew Davis’s thrilling crime drama, The Fugitive. Ford plays Dr. Richard Kimble, a surgeon who is convicted of murdering his wife. When a freight train crashes into the bus transporting him to prison, Kimble escapes and goes on the run. He is determined to find the person he says is the real killer, a one-armed man who was in his house that fateful night.

Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Jones is Samuel Gerard, the lawman leading the team to hunt down Kimble. Oh, and F. Lee Bailey? Well, he’s not referenced in this film, but he was the lawyer involved in the original case of Sam Sheppard that inspired the 1963 TV series which in turn inspired this film. He’s like the Kevin Bacon of the legal world.

The Fugitive has been restored in 4K from the original camera negative by Warner Bros. Discovery’s Motion Picture Imaging (MPI), a process overseen by director Davis. Though the soft-looking opening scenes may cause worry about the quality of this release, things turn around for good once we get to the sequence at the charity event. Spectacular! Presented on 4K Ultra HD in HEVC 2160p with a MaxLL (maximum light level) of 3431 nits and MaxFaLL (maximum frame-average light level) of 347 nits, the movie benefits from HDR10 grading that provides extended shadow details while also giving stable, deep blacks and a broad, vibrant color palette. One reference scene is Chapter 36 at the 1:49:00 mark when Ford steps off the L train: It is a symphony in orange lights with bright specular highlights and a vibrant pop of the skyline against a black night sky.

Bass-heads can rejoice over the Dolby Atmos remix because this track booms. At every expected moment, like the bus/train crash, we get a rumbling, powerful low end. The mix is dynamic and atmospheric with clear dialogue, but there is disappointing underuse of overhead channels. During the train derailment scene, the channels are used only for ambience, which is a missed opportunity. And during the helicopter chase later in the film, the overhead channels convey only the ambience of chopper blades from inside the helicopter.

The bonus features were all previously released, including the audio commentary by Davis and Jones. The most interesting featurette is Derailed: Anatomy of a Train Wreck that dissects the big crash scene. A Movies Anywhere digital code is included.

STUDIO: Warner, 1993
AUDIO FORMAT: Dolby Atmos with True-HD 7.1 core
LENGTH: 130 mins., PG-13
DIRECTOR: Andrew Davis
STARRING: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore, Jeroen Krabbé, Andreas Katsulas, Joe Pantoliano

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