In terms of sequels, sometimes they are so bad that people often forget or want to forget that they had ever been made in the first place. However, there are times in which the sequels are generally as good as the first film but have been long forgotten in the grand scheme of an actor’s career. That is certainly the case for U.S. Marshals, which is the sequel to the Tommy Lee Jones-led film, The Fugitive. However, in this sequel, Jones is joined by Robert Downey Jr. and Wesley Snipes. The film is certainly doing its part to remind everyone how good it is, as it is currently in the #1 spot on Netflix.
In the same light as the first film, U.S. Marshals follow Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) as he is tasked with helping with transporting prisoners on a plane. However, the plane crashes into the wilderness, and Mark Roberts (Wesley Snipes) escapes during the chaos. However, Sheridan also does what he can to save several passengers before fleeing. Now Gerard and Special Agent John Royce (Robert Downey Jr.) must hunt down Sheridan at all costs, as he is accused of a double-murder. Agent Royce believes that Sheridan is a killer of the highest degree, but he continually argues with Gerard, who believes he may be innocent. Sheridan goes out of this way to do the right thing a ton of times in the film. The Fugitive saw a similar storyline in that Sam Gerard had to hunt down Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), as he was accused of killing his own wife. That was certainly not the case for Kimble. In U.S. Marshals, Royce and Gerard must now hunt down Sheridan, though his innocence also becomes the deeper subject of the film.
U.S. Marshals holds a 27% critic rating and a much higher audience rating of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes. The general critic consensus for the film was that it may have had an all-star cast attached to it, but it was essentially a carbon copy of the first film. That might be the case, but the sequel still holds a charm of its own. Robert Downey Jr. playing the part of the “bad cop” also works well with Tommy Lee Jones, who oddly plays the more level-headed of the two. This film was also prime RDJ. He may have had his run-ins with law enforcement, but he sure knew how to play a cop well. It could be because he was always around them? All jokes aside, the film was still a mostly accepted sequel by audiences. The film made just over $100 million at the box office against a budget of $45 million, which makes it a remote success. It didn’t have the success of $368 million like The Fugitive, but it still held its own at the box office.
Robert Downey Jr. may be known these days for his portrayal of Tony Stark aka Iron Man, but he did have quite a career before that happened. The issue was that his personal life had been mired with controversy as he was always in trouble with law enforcement for his issues with drug abuse. During a period from 1996 to 2001, Downey had been arrested for cocaine, marijuana, and heroin possession and a gun charge. He had landed himself in jail for six months in 1997, and then another year in prison and a rehab facility in the year 2000. Thankfully, after his multiple attempts to get clean failed, he had finally rebounded and held several co-starring roles in the mid-2000s, before Marvel came calling, and essentially revived his career completely.
Robert Downey Jr. will always be remembered for his time in the MCU. His portrayal of Tony Star is one of the most perfect casted characters in the history of cinema. However, it is always good to go back and see the man’s earlier works, and how this had led him to become a legend through Marvel. U.S. Marshals is currently streaming on Netflix, and fans of RDJ should see him in his element before he put on the suit. Despite his early career woes, Downey is still one of the best actors in the world.