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The Fugitive (4K UHD Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A high stakes thriller that finds well-respected Dr. Richard Kimble -- framed for murdering his wife -- on the run from a dogged U.S. Marshal while trying to fins the real killer, a mysterious one-armed man.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Director Andrew Davis, who had previously been known for directing such action fare as the B-grade Steven Seagal action films Above the Law (1988) and Under Siege (1992) to the reigns for this now iconic remake of the 1960s TV series The Fugitive. The film stars Harrison Ford, fresh off his run in the original Indiana Jones trilogy and the political thriller Patriot Games, as Dr. Richard Kimble, a prominent surgeon accused and convicted of murdering his wife escapes from custody and leads U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) and his crew on a nationwide manhunt.

Filled with numerous set pieces that combine both adventure and crime thriller, such as a death defying jump from a dam into waters below, chases across rooftops, and a conspiracy subplot involving a one-armed killer and a new pharmaceutical drug, the film, courtesy of Davis and cinematographer Michael Chapman, is a thrill a minute and a visual feast. The effects, for their time, are quite spectacular, such as the initial getaway during a trail derailment, just to name one.

Tommy Lee Jones is also to be commended for being able to bring the perfect balance of humor and curmudgeonliness to his role as the hard-boiled U.S. Marshall hot on the trail of Dr. Kimball. As the film unfolds, and the conspiracy theory unwinds, we do not even care much about the lunacy of a group of men chasing down a phantom one-armed killer as much as we enjoy the ride to the conclusion.

  • Tommy Lee Jones and Joe Pantoliano in The Fugitive (1993)
  • Harrison Ford in The Fugitive (1993)
  • Harrison Ford in The Fugitive (1993)
  • Harrison Ford in The Fugitive (1993)
  • The Fugitive 4K Ultra HD + Digital (Warner Bros.)
  • The Fugitive 4K Ultra HD + Digital (Warner Bros.)

The Video

The Fugitive has not looked this good on home video since the 20th anniversary remastered Blu-ray Warner Bros. released, which was a fix for their original Blu-ray release that was just awful. Now, the film has been restored in 4K from the original camera negative by Warner Bros. Discovery’s Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) and overseen by director Andrew Davis. It is presented on 4K Ultra HD in 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) HDR10. The opening scenes has me a bit concerned because they look a little soft and overly grainy, but once we hit the scenes at the charity event – wow! The grain structure is thin and crisp and detail staggering. Add to this the HDR10 grading which provides extended shadow details while providing stable and deep blacks and a broad, vibrant color palette. One of my favorite scenes is in Chapter 36 around the 01:49:00 mark with Harrison Fords getting off the el. We can see the train lit up in orange, the orange-tinged lights on the platform, and the vibrant ‘pop’ of lights against the black sky from the skyline. The specular highlights are superb throughout the transfer, whether we are in the sewage tunnel near the dam and seeing the reflection on the water or catching a glimpse of neon city lights.

The Audio

The English Dolby Atmos mix for The Fugitive will serve the “bass heads” greatly, as every moment where it is expected, such as the bus crash scene or the train derailment, delivers big yet tight low end for the sound effects. The sound overall is dynamic and atmospheric with clean and full dialogue with excellent use of the base channels for solid effects. What does underwhelm and disappoint with this mix is the lackluster use of the overhead channels. There is no discrete use of the overhead channels for sound effects where they could be best utilized. During the train derailment, for example, the overheads just carry ambience. During the helicopter ambulance chase scene, there are many opportunities to pan the helicopter overhead, but instead we just get some ambience and stagnant atmospheric sounds of the propellers from inside the helicopter. It sounds very good, bolstered by deep low end, and the high frequencies also sound less edgy in this mix, but the Atmos overheads could have done so much for a film like this.

The Supplements

There is nothing new included with this release and what is here is mostly upscaled standard definition.

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • Introduction by Andrew Davis and Harrison Ford (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:52)
  • Commentary by Andrew Davis and Tommy Lee Jones
  • The Fugitive: Thrill of the Chase (1080p; 00:28:19)
  • On the Run with The Fugitive (1080p; 00:23:04)
  • Derailed: Anatomy of a Train Wreck (1080p; 00:08:52)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:01:58)

The Final Assessment

The Fugitive was one of the great thrillers of the ’90s and it has stood the test of time. It is an infinitely re-watchable piece of ’90s escapism tied together by tight direction and visuals from director Andrew Davis and strong performances from Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Following on from their excellent 20th anniversary Blu-ray remaster, Warner Bros. delivers a new director-overseen restoration on 4K that fans of this movie are sure to appreciate. Highly recommended.


The Fugitive is out on 4K Ultra HD + Digital November 21, 2023, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.


  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for a murder and other action sequences in an adventure setting)
  • Studios & Distributors: Warner Bros. | Kopelson Entertainment | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: Andrew Davis
  • Written By: Jeb Stuart | David Twohy | Roy Huggins
  • Run Time: 130 Mins.
  • Street Date: 21 November 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR10
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 3431 nits
    • MaxFaLL: 347 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | French DD 5.1 (Quebecois) | French DD 5.1 | Italian DD 5.1 | German DD 5.1 | Spanish (Castilian) DD 5.1 | Spanish DD 5.1 (Castilian) | Spanish DD 5.1 (Latino)
  • Subtitles: English SDH | German SDH | Spanish (Castilian) | French | Italian SDH | Dutch | Chinese | Korean | Spanish (Latino) | Czech | Danish | Finnish | Norwegian | Swedish
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A high stakes thriller that finds well-respected Dr. Richard Kimble -- framed for murdering his wife -- on the run from a dogged U.S. Marshal while trying to fins the real killer, a mysterious one-armed man. The Fugitive (4K UHD Review)