robert downey jrUS Marshals

The Robert Downey Jr 90s Crime Thriller That’s Been Completely Forgotten


In the vault of cinematic history lies a 90s crime thriller that, despite its star-studded cast and gripping narrative, has slipped through the cracks of public memory. The film, U.S. Marshals, released in 1998, is a follow-up to the immensely successful The Fugitive. Despite the presence of heavyweights such as Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, and notably, Robert Downey Jr., U.S. Marshals has been unjustly relegated to the sidelines. A recent report by Giant Freakin Robot has brought the film back into the limelight, highlighting its absence from the current 4K streaming era and its limited availability, thus renewing interest in what can be considered one of the forgotten gems of the genre.

While U.S. Marshals was not a failure upon its release—grossing around $102 million internationally—it didn’t quite ignite the cultural zeitgeist like its predecessor. Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Special Agent John Royce, assisting Jones’s Marshal Sam Gerard, is particularly noted for its solid supporting strength. Yet, this film has not enjoyed the same retrospective celebration as other 90s classics, perhaps overshadowed by its associations with The Fugitive.

The Legacy of U.S. Marshals


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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A Sequel Overshadowed

The movie sees Tommy Lee Jones reprising his role as the United States Deputy Marshal, but this time he is in pursuit of another fugitive, played by Wesley Snipes. Though U.S. Marshals shares thematic elements with The Fugitive, it couldn’t step out from the towering shadow of Harrison Ford’s runaway hit.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Unremembered Role

In the pantheon of Robert Downey Jr.’s illustrious career, his role in U.S. Marshals often goes unmentioned. Despite delivering a robust performance, this particular film is seldom recalled when discussing the actor’s highlights from the 90s.

The Film’s Resurgence


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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The Need for a Restoration

Giant Freakin Robot’s article points out that the last physical release of U.S. Marshals was a widescreen hi-definition Blu-ray in 2012. The film’s absence from 4K restoration and streaming platforms has limited its accessibility to new audiences, a fate undeserving for a movie with such a compelling cat-and-mouse chase.

Rediscovering Robert Downey Jr.’s Performance

As viewers have begun to seek out Robert Downey Jr.’s lesser-known works, U.S. Marshals has the potential for rediscovery. With the actor’s resurgence as a major box office draw, now could be the perfect time to revisit his earlier roles.

The Critical Reception


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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Mixed Reviews but Solid Entertainment

While U.S. Marshals received mixed reviews upon release, it was considered a solid action film. It wasn’t the masterpiece that The Fugitive was, but it provided enough thrills to warrant a watch, especially for fans of the crime thriller genre.

The Film’s Cinematic Importance

Though it might not be celebrated widely, U.S. Marshals holds its own as a 90s crime drama, with plenty of merits that deserve recognition. The film’s action sequences and the performances of its lead actors are particularly noteworthy.

Final Thoughts on Robert Downey Jr in U.S. Marshals


Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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U.S. Marshals is a film that demands a second look, not just for its status as a sequel to a 90s classic but for its own qualities as a crime thriller. Robert Downey Jr.’s role in the film is a reminder of the actor’s versatile talents, long before his resurgence as a superhero icon.

As the conversation around this forgotten gem heats up, perhaps it’s time for U.S. Marshals to be given the restoration it deserves, allowing a new generation of film aficionados to appreciate the movie in all its high-definition glory.

What do you make of this news? Have you watched Robert Downey Jr. in U.S. Marshals? Do you like the movie? We’d love to hear from you.

You can purchase U.S. Marshals right now via Apple TV.

Get it on Apple TV