U.S. Marshals is a 1998 American action crime thriller film directed by Stuart Baird. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Roy Huggins and John Pogue. The film is a sequel to the 1993 motion picture The Fugitive, which in turn was based on the 1960s television series of the same name, created by Huggins. The story does not involve the character of Dr. Richard Kimble, portrayed by Harrison Ford in the initial film. Instead, the plot centers on United States Deputy Marshal Sam Gerard, once again played by Tommy Lee Jones, as he and his team pursue another fugitive, Mark Warren, played by Wesley Snipes, who attempts to elude government officials following an international conspiracy scandal. The cast features Robert Downey, Jr., Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood, and LaTanya Richardson, several of whom portrayed Deputy Marshals in the previous film.
The film was a co-production between the motion picture studios of Warner Bros. and Kopelson Entertainment. Theatrically, it was commercially distributed by Warner Bros. and by the Warner Home Video division for home media markets. On March 10, 1998, the original motion picture soundtrack was released by the Varèse Sarabande music label. The soundtrack was composed and orchestrated by musician Jerry Goldsmith.
U.S. Marshals premiered in theaters in the United States on March 6, 1998, grossing $57 million in its domestic run. The film took in an additional $45 million through international release for a worldwide total of $102 million. The film was generally met with mixed critical reviews. The film was released on home video on July 21, 1998.
Two Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agents are killed while trying to intercept a briefcase exchange taking place in a United Nations parking garage. The murders are caught on a security camera, but the criminal escapes with top secret information.
Months later, tow truck driver Mark Warren is arrested for an illegal weapons possession charge following a vehicular collision in Chicago. Through a fingerprint check, the police determine that he is actually federal fugitive Mark Roberts, wanted for a homicide. Roberts boards a prisoner transport aircraft back to New York, sharing the flight with Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones), who is escorting prisoners unrelated to Roberts' case.
Roberts thwarts an assassination attempt by a Chinese prisoner with an improvised firearm, but the bullet pierces a window and depressurizes the cabin, forcing an emergency landing which leads to a crash in Southern Illinois. Gerard discovers Roberts has fled the crash site. DSS Special Agent John Royce is assigned to join Gerard's team to hunt Roberts.
Roberts flees to New York City. There, he secures money, weapons and fake identification. Roberts also begins conducting surveillance on a Chinese diplomat named Xiang Chen. In Chicago, Gerard and the Marshals pursue several leads, including Roberts' girlfriend Marie Bineaux, as well as the airplane mechanic who hid the zip gun, whom the Marshals find murdered by Chen.
Gerard and his colleagues watch the surveillance footage of the murders in the parking garage and realize that Roberts acted in self-defense and was wearing gloves; thus he could not have been identified by fingerprints at the scene as was earlier claimed. Confronted with the evidence, DSS Director Bertram Lamb informs Gerard that Mark Roberts is in fact Mark Sheridan, a trained operative and a veteran Force Recon Marine, that went rogue during an investigation to find a mole within the U.S. State Department that had been selling covert secrets to China. Chen was the contact delivering the money to Sheridan for the information and when DSS agents tried to apprehend him, Sheridan killed them in resistance and fled the scene.
Eventually, Gerard and his team catch up with Sheridan in Queens Hill Cemetery where he meets with, and threatens to expose, DSS Special Agent Frank Barrows as one of the conspirators who framed him. Chen tries to assassinate Sheridan as he leaves the cemetery, but inadvertently kills Barrows instead. Sheridan flees to a retirement home followed by Gerard, Royce and Deputy Marshal Noah Newman. Meanwhile, Chen is caught and detained by Deputy Marshals Savannah Cooper and Bob Biggs.
At the senior care facility, Newman overhears a physical struggle and walks into a room where he witnesses Royce holding Sheridan at gunpoint. Royce suddenly shoots Newman with his gun and later lies to his associates, claiming Sheridan shot Newman. Sheridan escapes by jumping from the building onto the roof of a passing train. Newman dies of his gunshot wound.
After retrieving fingerprints from an abandoned vehicle at a marine loading dock, Gerard tracks down Sheridan on a freighter bound for Canada. During a scuffle between Sheridan and Gerard aboard the vessel, Royce shoots Sheridan, injuring him. Sheridan is later taken into custody. Gerard begins to suspect Royce may be the mole when he notices the firearm that shot Newman had its serial number filed off in an attempt to hide it was actually Royce's own gun earlier.
Left alone to guard Sheridan's hospital room, Royce wakes Sheridan up to murder him just as Gerard steps in and kills Royce first. After leaving the hospital, Sheridan's charges are dropped as he is exonerated and released from custody.
- Tommy Lee Jones as Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard
- Wesley Snipes as Mark J. Sheridan/Mark Roberts/Mark Warren
- Robert Downey Jr. as Special Agent John Royce
- Joe Pantoliano as Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro
- Daniel Roebuck as Deputy U.S. Marshal Bob Biggs
- Tom Wood as Deputy U.S. Marshal Noah Newman
- LaTanya Richardson as Deputy U.S. Marshal Savannah Cooper
- Irène Jacob as Marie Bineaux
- Kate Nelligan as United States Marshal Catherine Walsh
- Patrick Malahide as Director Bertram Lamb
- Rick Snyder as Special Agent Frank Barrows
- Michael Paul Chan as Xiang Chen
Filming locations for the film included, Metropolis, Illinois; Bay City, Illinois; Shawneetown, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; Benton, Kentucky; and at Reelfoot Lake, in Lake County, Tennessee.
Music and soundtrack
The original motion picture soundtrack for U.S. Marshals was released by the Varèse Sarabande music label on March 10, 1998. The score for the film was orchestrated by Jerry Goldsmith and mixed by Bruce Botnick. Kenneth Hall edited the film's music.
A novelization of the film, U.S. Marshals: A Novel, written by Max Allan Collins, was released on March 1, 1998.
Following its cinematic release, the Region 1 Code widescreen edition of the film was released on DVD in the U.S. on July 21, 1998. Special features for the DVD include; interactive behind-the-scenes documentary - Anatomy of the Plane Crash; historical documentary - Justice Under the Star; feature-length commentary by director Stuart Baird; interactive menus; production notes; two theatrical trailers; three TV spots; and scene access. Additionally, a Special Edition repackaged DVD was also released on November 3, 2009. Special features include; a closed caption option; interactive behind-the-scenes documentary - Anatomy of the Plane Crash; historical documentary - Justice Under the Star; feature length commentary by director Stuart Baird; two theatrical trailers; and three TV spots.
In supplemental fashion, a VHS format version of the film was released on February 2, 1999. A restored widescreen hi-definition Blu-ray Disc version of the film was released on June 5, 2012. Special features include; two documentaries - Anatomy of the plane crash and Justice under the star; commentary by director Stuart Baird; and the theatrical trailer. An additional viewing option for the film in the media format of Video on demand has been made available as well.