The film opens with closed-circuit television footage of an exchange between two men taking place in a parking garage, which appears to be foiled by agents of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
Mark Warren (Wesley Snipes) is arrested after a traffic accident, enabling police to discover he is a federal fugitive by the name of Mark Roberts. While being transported to New York by plane, Roberts shares the flight with Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) who is traveling under the orders of his boss to get out of town following a publicized incident of alleged brutality during an arrest unrelated to Roberts’ case.
A Chinese prisoner attempts to assassinate Roberts by shooting him with a zip gun concealed in a toilet paper holder but the attempt fails; however it results in a plane crash due to the gunshot traveling through a window and depressurizing the cabin of the plane.
After all the other prisoners are accounted for, Gerard discovers Roberts is missing and has become a fugitive again. According to DSS officials, Roberts is actually Mark Sheridan who was an operative in a mission that went bad.
Sheridan was framed for murdering fellow DSS agents, resulting in his criminal record. Federal officials are attempting to find a mole in the agency suspected of selling secrets to the Chinese government. DSS Special Agent John Royce (Robert Downey Jr.) joins Gerard and his team in the search.
The Marshals almost catch Sheridan in a swamp, but a standoff with Gerard and Royce results in Sheridan shooting Gerard in a bullet-proof vest and then getting away. Sheridan makes it to New York City, secures money, weapons and false ID, and begins conducting surveillance on Chinese attache/spy Xian Chen (Michael Paul Chan). In Chicago, Gerard and the Marshals pursue several leads, including Roberts’ girlfriend (Irène Jacob), and the airplane mechanic who hid the zip gun, the latter of whom the marshals would find killed by Chen.
Gerard and team view surveillance footage that suggests that Sheridan acted in self defense, and that he could not have been identified by fingerprints at the scene as he was wearing gloves. Police reports and interviews with DSS officials, as well as electronic and foot surveillance of the girlfriend lead the team to New York on the heels of Sheridan. Eventually, the team catches up with Sheridan in a cemetery.
Following a shootout with Chen, Sheridan flees to a residential home where Deputy Marshal Noah Newman (Tom Wood) is shot by Royce, who claims that Newman was actually ambushed and shot by Sheridan. Sheridan escapes by jumping onto the top of a passing train. Newman dies in transit to the hospital.
After finding empty seasickness pill containers in a getaway car, Gerard locates and captures Sheridan on a ship bound for Canada, with assistance from Royce, who shoots Sheridan. Due to his behavior and change of firearm, Gerard begins to suspect that Royce may be associated with the mole within the U.S. State Department and Royce is left to guard Sheridan’s hospital room.
He gives Sheridan a knife and attempts to kill him, to claim an attempted escape and self-defense. Gerard returns and Royce tries to shoot him to further frame Sheridan, not knowing that his gun has been switched and is empty. He pulls an alternate firearm but is fatally shot by Gerard. After leaving the hospital, Sheridan’s charges are dropped and he is released.
U.S. Marshals wasn’t a bad movie, but i think it’s one that if not made no one would of been missing. I’ve always felt this movie was only made, because the studio was hoping for the same kinda of success as what “The Fugitive” had brought them.
Tommy Lee Jones protrail of U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard in “The Fugitive” and Oscar win, I believe is the reason this movie was made. Wesley Snipes character felt to much like Harrison Ford’s character with minor changes. As a sequel I felt the movie lacked something that made “The Fugitive” such a great film.
By it self U.S. Marshals is an okay movie and still gets a place in my movie collection.
Director: Stuart Baird
Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Jr. Robert Downey, Joe Pantoliano, Kate Nelligan
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 131 minutes