Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr., Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood, LaTanya Richardson, Ir�ne Jacob, Kate Nelligan, Patrick Malahide, Rick Snyder, Michael Paul Chan, Johnny Lee Davenport, Donald Li, Marc Vann
Written by: John Pogue, based on characters created by Roy Huggins
Directed by: Stuart Baird
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some scenes of violence and brief language
Running Time: 131
Date: 03/06/1998

U.S. Marshals (1998)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Fugitive, Too

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This sequel to The Fugitive (1993) went ahead without Harrison Ford or director Andrew Davis, and the result is perfectly watchable, though unmemorable. This time Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) hunts down a tow-truck driver with a mysterious past, Mark Sheridan (Wesley Snipes), who has been wrongly accused of murder. And instead of being freed by a train crash, it's a plane crash. Gerard's usual band of misfit sidekicks (Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood and LaTanya Richardson) returns, but an outside special agent (Robert Downey Jr.) has been sent to keep tabs on them as they hunt Sheridan. Rounding out the cast, Kate Nelligan appears as Gerard's boss, and the lovely Irene Jacob plays Sheridan's loyal girlfriend. It's a lot of talent on one movie, but none of the actors ever strike any sparks, not even Downey, who can usually make the most of even the blandest material (he was at his lowest point here, in and out of jail and still battling drug addiction). The inexperienced director Stuart Baird normally works as an editor; to date he has only directed two other ho-hum films in addition to this one: Executive Decision (1996) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). He competently pieces together all the parts in their proper places, but nothing quite comes to life; it's just the sum of its parts.

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