Before ‘Oppenheimer,’ Robert Downey Jr. Starred in This Underrated ’90s Sequel – saimmalik

The Huge Image

  • Robert Downey Jr.’s position in U.S. Marshals is an underrated efficiency that showcases his trademark wit and nonchalant cool.
  • Whereas not reaching the heights of its predecessor, U.S. Marshals is a worthy follow-up with its sharp humor, cinematic rating, and spectacular set items.
  • The dynamic between Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr. within the movie is a excessive level, with their tense and amusing interactions preserving the viewers engaged.

It has been a captivating profession journey for prodigiously proficient star Robert Downey Jr., and his late ’90s look alongside Tommy Lee Jones in U.S. Marshals, the underrated semi-sequel to smash-hit The Fugitive, stays a considerably forgotten but nonetheless fascinating character position for the present Oscar nominee. After making a robust impression within the late ’80s and early ’90s in a raft of offbeat movies (for which he earned some early accolades), the late ’90s — particularly 1997 by way of 1999 — ended up being a bit a transitional interval for the Oppenheimer actor, as Downey ended up taking up supporting roles in a various group of movies that included the connection drama Marvel Boys, the zany comedy Bowfinger, and the dreamlike psychological horror movie In Goals. However a full decade earlier than Iron Man, the actor’s trademark wit and nonchalant cool was additionally on full show as Particular Agent John Royce in U.S. Marshals, the place he groups up with Jones’ Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard to apprehend a convict on the run (Wesley Snipes). It is an underrated Downey performance, particularly contemplating the viewers spends many of the movie attempting to determine the considerably enigmatic character.

U.S. Marshals

U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard and his workforce of Marshals are assigned to trace down Sheridan, who has been accused of a double-murder.

Launch Date
March 6, 1998

Stuart Baird


‘U.S. Marshals’ Is Finest Considered as a ‘Fugitive’ Spinoff

Robert Downey Jr. and Tommy Lee Jones in U.S. Marshals
Picture through Warner Bros.

Whereas director Stuart Baird‘s U.S. Marshals might not attain the dizzying heights of 1993’s epochal traditional, his movie is a really worthy follow-up to The Fugitive in its personal proper. Outfitted with a pointy humorousness, a classically cinematic Jerry Goldsmith rating, and that includes a variety of slickly executed set items, the sardonic and pretty iconic Gerard’s return to the massive display is a most welcome one, and Baird’s movie stays a extremely gratifying slice of escapism. Tommy Lee Jones, naturally, reprises the position with gusto, as properly. Given it is a wholly new set of circumstances, the movie is probably greatest seen as extra of a by-product, akin to how among the CSI variants function crossover characters in numerous eventualities and locales. There is not a point out of The Fugitive‘s harmless protagonist Richard Kimble, however a number of of that movie’s characters do seem within the sequel (together with Gerard’s workforce members performed by Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, and Tom Wooden).

In U.S. Marshals, Wesley Snipes’ Mark Warren is on the middle of the manhunt. Roberts, a tow-truck driver, has his fingerprints run after a crash and is revealed to be federal fugitive Mark Roberts. This all happens after a mysterious opening sequence involving a botched briefcase change. Regardless of protestations that he’s harmless, Roberts is apprehended and boards a jail transport flight with Gerard in tow. Nevertheless, issues rapidly go down (actually) when one of many prisoners rears up unexpectedly and makes an attempt to struggle again, inflicting essential harm to the plane. After a wild however technically spectacular crash sequence, Roberts finds himself free and fleeing, after the airplane lands within the Ohio River. As per final time, Gerard is disgruntled and rapidly assembles a posse comprised of a number of acquainted faces as he makes an attempt to seek out Roberts. All of this strikes at a reasonably breakneck tempo and happens properly after a extremely amusing early scene the place Gerard (incognito and adorned in a rooster swimsuit) and his bevy of Marshals seize a person who’d been on the lam within the suburbs. Whereas persistently thrilling, the movie is usually infused with dry humor, and the dynamic between Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr. turns into one of many movie’s unequivocal excessive factors when Downey’s Diplomatic Safety Service Agent arrives to help within the nationwide manhunt. From the get-go, it is tense and compulsively watchable.


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Robert Downey Jr. and Tommy Lee Jones Make for a Robust Pair

In a terrifically memorable entrance, Downey Jr.’s very assured particular brokers arrives on-scene dramatically, asserting himself as somebody set to determine closely in investigations henceforth. That does not sit properly with Gerard, who’s used to conducting issues his personal extremely meticulous means with none exterior interference (which we bear in mind from The Fugitive, after all). Suffice to say, the preliminary assembly between Royce and Gerard is frosty. The younger agent was assigned the duty of becoming a member of the search by DSS Director Lamb (Patrick Malahide), who clearly views the up-and-comer as a cerebral and extremely succesful regulation enforcement official. After some cat-and-mouse quarreling, Gerard turns into irate with Royce after the latter continues to carry conversations with individuals in his division with out informing the veteran Marshal. In consequence, Gerard has Royce handcuffed, difficult him to “get out of them your self.” Surprisingly, Royce casually does simply that, slipping out of the restraints with out elevating a sweat. It is a extremely amusing second that punctuates the primary tense encounter between the characters and units the tone for a novel dynamic to comply with.

Not lengthy after, with the peace now considerably restored, Royce, Gerard and the band of different brokers are pursuing Roberts by way of a Kentucky swamp, the blurry wash of omnipresent inexperienced serving as the proper camouflage for a extremely educated particular person like Warren, who, it seems, is a former CIA agent. The sequence is a robust exemplar of the film’s surging first half, because the tempo is pretty relentless earlier than the midsection turns into denser when it comes to narrative and forthcoming twists. Warren isn’t just former CIA, he’s really Mark Sheridan, and, as with Harrison Ford‘s Kimble in The Fugitive, he’s harmless of the crime he is been accused of. But when he had nothing to do with passing on labeled info elsewhere, then who’s the person going to such nice lengths to border him?

The inherent mystery on the core of the flick takes a backseat till in a while in proceedings when a treasured member of Gerard’s workforce is tragically killed after a drawn-out foot-chase involving packed house blocks and ill-advised swan-dives onto passing commuter trains as a way to flee. By this stage, the working relationship between Royce and Gerard has strengthened, and what blossoms is a mutual respect for each other’s dedication and smarts. Each are wily, and each exert laser-like focus when wanted. The camaraderie between the 2 as they jaunt wildly from doorstep to doorstep, and airplane aisle to airplane aisle, render the entire journey engrossing. And whereas Royce’s talent set is spectacular, one by no means feels they’ve utterly labored out his true motivations. It is a credit score to Downey Jr. that he by no means makes the truth that his character might need subsurface agendas overly apparent.

U.S. Marshals‘ finale serves as an exciting denouement to all that is come earlier than, with the tempo quickening as soon as extra as Gerard begins to suspect his new colleague could be hiding greater than he first although. In any case, as he advised us in The Fugitive, “The opera ain’t over until the massive canine howls.” The ultimate dialog (and confrontation) finally proves fatally tense as Mark Sheridan is absolved of all wrong-doing and the actual offender is revealed. Skillfully shot in half-shadow, the hospital-set sequence serves as a suitably high-octane option to shut out what quantities to a reasonably sturdy actioner that is elevated by a bevy of fine performances. Downey, who continues to attract huge reward for his current work in the highly acclaimed Oppenheimer, has definitely notched up a variety of fascinating roles over the course of his oeuvre, and his work in U.S. Marshals alongside a heavyweight like Jones is one well-worth revisiting. It is one of many many examples displaying that the actor is simply as efficient in a supporting position as he’s the lead.

U.S. Marshals is on the market to lease digitally on Amazon Prime Video within the U.S.

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