US Marshals

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

If T2 was cloned from The Terminator, US Marshals carries more than a casual reference to The Fugitive. Tommy Lee Jones returns as the obsessive, hardnut, anal retentive cop-u-like, Sam Gerard, in a story of an innocent man on the run, desperate to clear his name (sound familiar?). The difference is that Harrison Ford passed on this one and Wesley Snipes doesn't get top billing.

Typical of sequels, the plot loses its innocence and adds layers of intrigue. The Feds (or is it the CIA?) stick their boot in by transferring a posey young agent (Robert Downey Jr) onto Gerard's team without asking to keep an eye on things. Downey doesn't have an opportunity to exploit his maverick skills. He acts responsibly, which can't have been easy.

Sheridan (Snipes) is arrested after a street accident because his prints match those of an unknown assailant who shot two agents in an underground car park. Later, he escapes when a Con Air flight comes down in open country, with Gerard and a chain gang of beefy bad guys aboard. What follows is a variation on the Ford Jones chase games of '93. Sheridan remains a mystery in order to instill an element of doubt concerning his moral standing, although having Irene Jacob as leisure wear implies good taste. This puts Gerard in the driving seat, where Harrison was last time, except there's not a whole lot to him, beyond red blooded determination and the ability to run up five flights of stairs without losing his breath.

As an action picture, F2 excels. The plane crash is just as impressive as the original train crash and the pace never lets up. There is a suprise twist at the end, which is always nice, and the actors are made to work for their salaries. Gerard may not have a life and Sheridan may be too darned lucky, but when you're there and you're watching them and it's dark, you don't think about that. What more can you ask? Character development? Naa...

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Innocent man goes on the run in sequel to The Fugitive.
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Director: Stuart Baird

Writer: John Pogue

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr., Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood, LaTanya Richardson, Irène Jacob, Kate Nelligan, Patrick Malahide, Rick Snyder

Year: 1997

Runtime: 133 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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