Saturday, March 12, 2011

U.S Marshals

 Aren't professional film critics a funny breed?! This movie played on television last night so I read the review in the Listener, a nationwide current affairs magazine cum t.v guide. The review was unpromising to say the least and all but told me that it was garbage. Well I still watched it and found the review somewhat wide of the mark.
 Before looking at it I must go into Tommy Lee Jones a bit. I never liked him as an actor before No Country for Old Men, and the brilliant and extremely under-rated and over-looked The Valley of Elah, which I regard as one the best films of the last decade. That's right, up until the last few years I avoided Jones and his films like the plague. I always felt he over-acted and that grated on me, so for that reason I can't really tell you what he was in before Old Men.
 I saw him as Two-face in the batman movie and hated him! So over-acted it wasn't funny. This movie more than any other turned me off him. I didn't even bother seeing The Fugitive soley because of Jones, and that was a highly regarded movie! But after his more recently mentioned efforts my opinions have changed and I am able to revisit his earlier films.
 As stated I have never seen The Fugitive. In U.S Marshals Jones revisits the role. From the start, due to the Listener's review, I was expecting the worst. But by the end I got a pleasant surprise, as I actually enjoyed it for it isn't a bad action/thriller. Jones is good and has some great lines for a figure of authority. He is believable because he has the age for the role and is quietly menacing as 'the boss' without having to resort to shouting and threats to get what he wants done. All in all he plays the role well and for a previously unabashed non fan I liked him in this movie!
 On the other hand I have always like Robert Downey jr. He is a fine actor even though a bad boy! But he isn't alone there is he with Crowe and DiCaprio among that group?! So it was a pleasant surprise to find he starred in this movie. It certainly isn't his best role, but it was somewhat early days for him as his talent was still growing.
 Wesley Snipes is a crap actor lets be honest. I could never get into the Blade movies and I struggle to think of a memorable thing he has done. But in this he is actually quite reasonable. Maybe being around better and more seasoned actors tempered his ego and he had to play ball as he wasn't the star of the show. Who knows, but he does play his part well and I quite liked watching him for once.
 It has a semblance of a plot but is nothing new. It has been done before, fugitive escapes cops and gets chased down and re-captured. It has a sort of twist in that the fugitive is innocent as he was set up blah, blah, blah. You get the drift. It has shooting galore and a good stunt where Snipes uses a winch on top of a building to swing onto another buildng. Also there is a quite spectacular plane crash that everyone walks away from unharmed. Hey, this is Hollywood after all, not reality!
 U.S Marshals will never be a great film. But within the genre of mass produced action/thrillers this one isn't actually too bad. I personally enjoyed it and found it a reasonable watch over the two hours. It is well paced, reasonably acted, has all the ingredients for a no brainer action flick, and delivers enough stunts and shooting to please most audieneces.
 Not a bad way to fill in a few hours and while not great I'm still thinking about it the next day. Which says something, because unlike the recently viewed Centurion for instance, I have not forgotten it immediately after I finished watching it.
Click here for a synopsis and more:
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And here for the official site:


  1. I haven't yet seen this film for some reason (probably due to the poor ratings that it usually gets), but I'll have to check it out at some point soon. It's good to hear someone say good things about it, and as long as it's entertaining that's good enough for me sometimes. I love The Fugitive- awesome film, and hopefully you'll like it when you get the chance to see it :)

  2. Thanks! Yeah it isn't as bad as it is made out to be and is a good watch really.