Volume 91, Issue 84

Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Summer lovin'


Samuel Gerard is back on the chase

By Saleh Zaidi
Gazette Writer

For U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, nothing more could go wrong than having to escort a bunch of hard core criminals across the United States on an airplane. And all because he butted one of the criminals with his gun after handcuffing him. So now Gerard's boss wants him to put on a nice public relations show and simply assist in escorting a plane full of criminals. Nice and easy, right? Well, guess again!

That's right, Gerard is back! And this time he's not running after some doctor who is looking for a one-handed murderer. Instead, he's after a former marine who also happens to be a C.I.A. agent (aren't they always?) and this fugitive can also unlock handcuffs simply with the frame from a pair of sunglasses. Quite slick.

U.S. Marshals is a full-fledged action movie which, unlike its predecessor, The Fugitive, lacks originality in its plot and script. However, Tommy Lee Jones proves what he can do once, he can do again and just as well. Wesley Snipes is also good as Sheridan, a C.I.A. agent framed for the murder of two agents from the Department of Defence. Everyone thinks he did it except for himself and the lovely Irene Jacob, who plays his love interest.

During the flight transporting criminals to another penitentiary, one of the prisoners tries to kill Sheridan but ends up blasting a hole in the side of the plane. The pilot has to attempt a crash landing on a plain road, which causes the airplane to end up in a river and the prisoners will have to be uncuffed to reach the shore safely. Amid the chaos, Wesley Snipes escapes from the plane into the swamps. What begins from here is The Fugitive retold. Snipes performs all sorts of dandy stunts to stay alive and out of the hands of the U.S. Marshals and Tommy Lee Jones comes up with the best one-liners when convincing his associates he's going to catch Snipes alive.

Gerard still has his old team of U.S. Marshals, but one interesting addition is Robert Downey Jr., looking as slick as ever as a D.O.D. agent sent to report on the progress of the chase. Downey has been enjoying many good roles over the last few years and after U.S. Marshals, he should be getting more offers.

Stuart Baird (of Superman and Die Hard fame) does a good job behind the camera and manages to get the best out of all three members of the main cast, even if it is just an action flick.

Overall, U.S. Marshals is a good sequel to The Fugitive and will be a treat for die hard action fans. But for those who are looking for a bit more originality in terms of plot, they will realize that U.S. Marshals lacks the authenticity of the original. And if you thought Gerard was tough, wait till you see his boss, U.S. Marshal Walsh (Kate Nelligan).

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998