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The Fugitive Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Boyd Holbrook, Genesis Rodriguez
There’s no Dr. Richard Kimble and no one-armed man in Quibi’s new version of The Fugitive, and the main character isn’t on the run after being falsely convicted of murdering his wife. That sets this series apart from previous versions, including the original 1960s ABC series, the 1993 movie and the short-lived 2000 CBS series. The lack of those familiar elements also makes Quibi’s The Fugitive into a generic modern-day thriller, centered on a terrorist bombing and a high-tech police force rather than the more personal human drama of Kimble’s various incarnations.
Instead of Richard Kimble, the fugitive here is Michelangelo “Mike” Ferro (Narcos’ Boyd Holbrook), and he’s already been sent to prison once for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Mike has been free for six months after being convicted of manslaughter thanks to a drunk driving incident, and he’s doing his best to put his life back on track and mend his relationship with his wife Allison (Natalie Martinez) and his young daughter Pearl (Keilani Arellane). In the first episode’s opening scene, he’s so dedicated to the straight and narrow he even refuses to include any questionable write-offs in the tax return he’s preparing as part of his accounting job.
Mike’s scrupulous honesty gets him fired from that job (he admits to a client that he’s been in prison), but he’s undeterred, getting right back into the job market with the help of his remarkably supportive parole officer (iZombie’s Malcolm Goodwin). Before he can even get to another job interview, though, he’s caught in the middle of a terrorist attack, an explosion in the Los Angeles subway system that leaves what appear to be dozens of people dead. That’s a major escalation from the single break-in and murder of the previous versions of the story, and soon Mike has an entire city’s worth of law enforcement officers after him, based on some pretty flimsy evidence.
The hastily cobbled-together case against Mike is just one of the ways that this show, with episodes that run about eight minutes each (in the typical Quibi format), rushes through a superficial story to get to the overblown action and mini-cliffhangers at the end of each episode. Holbrook plays the main character, but the show’s major draw is Kiefer Sutherland as the leader of the manhunt for Mike, LAPD Detective Clay Bryce. Bryce is a cross between Tommy Lee Jones’ U.S. marshal character from the 1993 movie and Sutherland’s own federal agent Jack Bauer from 24. Like Jones’ Samuel Gerard, Bryce has a penchant for folksy phrases, ending every new set of orders to his team by saying, “Can I get a ‘copy, boss’?” to make sure they understand. And while Jack Bauer worked for the federal Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), Bryce works for the Counterterrorism Bureau (CTB), a division within the LAPD
Bryce even has a tortured backstory that gives him a personal motivation for hunting down Mike. Bryce’s wife, also a cop, was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and he attempts to honor her memory by catching new terrorists. One of the best aspects of the Fugitive movie was its eventual connection between Gerard and Harrison Ford’s Kimble, and this new show may get there eventually, but for now Mike and Bryce sometimes feel like they are on separate shows. Rather than being convicted in a court of law, Mike is convicted in the court of public opinion, thanks to shady journalist Pritti Patel (Tiya Sircar), and her unethical reporting, which forms a third plot thread in the early episodes.
The media subplot — featuring a hopelessly miscast Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Pritti’s world-weary boss — is contrived and awkward, with a portrayal of online news that feels at least a decade out of date. Given how short the episodes are, taking the focus away from the dueling agendas of Mike and Bryce only slows the momentum down. It’s so clear that Mike is innocent that it doesn’t make much sense for him to run without even getting a chance to plead his case, and the terrorism angle makes it harder to sympathize with him. Mike’s personal inconvenience and wounded pride don’t mean much in contrast to the literal tents full of dead bodies from the attack.
In the four episodes available for review, The Fugitive also doesn’t have a clear villain, although presumably the real culprit will be revealed before the end of the 14-episode season. Sutherland’s star power overwhelms Holbrook’s bland protagonist, and the entire story feels like a slightly extended episode of a network-TV crime procedural, which isn’t surprising given Scorpion creator Nick Santora serves as the showrunner. There’s not enough time for Mike to stop and help people while he’s on the run (as Kimble did in the original series), and rather than fleeing across the country, he’s just running around a small area of Los Angeles. Bryce designates a “10-block radius” to look for him, far smaller than the search area described in Jones’ iconic movie speech.
Everything about this version of the story feels smaller, which may be fitting for the bite-size Quibi episodes meant to be watched on mobile devices, but doesn’t provide much motivation for checking out the next installment. The efforts at modern updates are already stale, and Sutherland’s casting only takes the show so far. Brand name aside, this Fugitive barely acknowledges a legacy it’s theoretically building on. It’s a throwaway thriller with a familiar name tacked onto it.
Starring Boyd Holbrook, Kiefer Sutherland, Natalie Martinez, Tiya Sircar, Brian Geraghty, Genesis Rodriguez, Glenn Howerton, Daniel David Stewart and Keilani Arellanes, The Fugitive premieres August 3 on Quibi, with new episodes each weekday through August 18.
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