'The Fugitive' Still Won’t Quit, 25 Years Later


Soraya Roberts:

While “old-man action” movies like Taken and The Equalizer could be considered descendants of The Fugitive, they lack its character development. Those thrillers that are character driven—say, No Country for Old Men or Hell or High Water—are less popcorn, more art. The Fugitive acts as a placeholder for a time when adults could be entertained by action heroes without being condescended to (see Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, The Firm, Patriot Games), which is why many viewers who saw the movie as kids in the ’90s, and who are adults now, wield it as a nostalgic marker of taste.

The bad news is that there just doesn't seem to be a place for these types of movies in cinemas anymore. To work in any capacity they have to be pretty low-budget and jacked-up -- see: Taken, etc. And even when those do well, it's not nearly as well as a Marvel movie, so it's clear where this is heading. The good news is that these movies should do very well on services like Netflix, where the mega-openings don't matter. And yes, where nostalgia is ripe for the plucking.

See also: how Hollywood tried to kill Jack Ryan. A Clear & Present Danger is one of my favorite movies -- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, not so much. We'll see soon enough what Amazon does with him. (I'm perhaps more excited to see than I should be, but it will be a great test of this!)


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