A couple of weeks ago I was in Safeway and I spotted a cheap DVD, a double-bill of The Fugitive (1993) and U.S. Marshals (1998), and I impulsively bought it. I already owned The Fugitive on laserdisc (that old thing) and had seen it many times, but I hadn't ever seen U.S. Marshals. I know it's supposed to be awful, but the cast of Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Downey Jr. and Wesley Snipes suddenly appealed to me. I decided to re-watch The Fugitive before I settled down to the sequel. I liked it as much as ever; it's a rare example of everything in the Hollywood machine coming together in the right way at the right time and working perfectly. But this time, something new struck me.
Last week I wrote a defense of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (184 screens), which I determined has been judged more by its hype than by the actual content of the film. But I didn't get much of a chance to talk about the film's star, Harrison Ford, who is an integral part of the film's success. I'll be the first to admit that Ford is an exceedingly limited actor. One of his failings is his seeming lack of humor and spontaneity in certain roles, exacerbated by the fact that, in person, he comes across just as humorless (though it could be that he merely mistrusts journalists). But ironically, one of his best attributes he shares with the comic actor Jackie Chan: a reluctance to enter into the action.