home film guide institute articles photos contact links

the robert downey jr film guide

‹‹ prevhomenext ››

U.S. Marshals (1998)

Tags: Supporting Role, Action!, Middlers, Career Trajectory: Troubled Actor, RDJ is the Only Good Thing About This Movie, On DVD in Region 1, On DVD in Region 2, On DVD in Region 4, On Blu-Ray


Sequel to The Fugitive brings back the Marshals only to have them chase after another innocent guy.


Stuart Baird

Downey Factor

Low to Medium.


John Royce, special agent who can’t be trusted.


Good wardrobe, looks nice.


Cool. Suitable for action movie, not too obvious.

Dies, Gay or Villain

Yes. No. Yes.


Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Joe Pantoliano


Joe Pantoliano in Black and White. Wesley Snipes in One Night Stand. Tommy Lee Jones in Natural Born Killers.

RDJ Says

I don’t remember anything about U.S. Marshals except that we were running around and pretending like we could ever hold a candle to The Fugitive. I just remember like, “Strap on your bulletproof vest, you’re in the bayou!” What the fuck, what? Where’s the story? ... Possibly the worst action movie of all time, and that’s just not good for the maintenance of a good spiritual condition. You’ve had a traumatic year, you’ve been practically suicidal—what do you think would be really healing for you? How about like twelve weeks of running around as Johnny Handgun? I think that if you talk to a spirit guide, they would say, “That’ll kill you.” ... I thought maybe there was something I was missing, and what I really needed to do was to be in one of those films that I love taking my kid to. It would end up being really depressing. I’d rather wake up in jail for a TB test than have to wake up another morning knowing I’m going to the set of U.S. Marshals ... [I play] the guy who’s called in to eliminate any threats. It’s a nice way of saying if there’s a problem, he goes in and fills the problem full of lead ... He’s a Diplomatic Security Service agent, a likeable guy, who has to insinuate himself into the acceptance of all these marshals, a real tight-knit group ... One of the real marshals explained to me that these agents eliminate threats. They’re well educated, nasty and they know how to take care of things with great precision and little remorse. The character of Royce volunteers for the assignment when two other agents, friends of his, are killed by this fugitive. He wants to get him.


Released in theaters 6 March 1998. On DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4. Also on Blu-ray.

Foreign Titles

Argentina: Los Federales (The Federals)
Brazil: Os Federais (The Feds)
Croatia: Èuvari Zakona (Law Guardian)
Finland: Takaa-ajajat (Security-driver)
Germany: Auf der Jagd (On the Hunt)
Hong Kong: Lethal Assassin (English translation)
Israel: The Hunting (English translation)
Italy: Caccia Senza Tregua (Hunting without Stopping)
Poland: Wydział Pościgowy (Board Chase)
Portugal: A Perseguição (The Pursuit)
Russia: Servants of the Law (English translation)
Slovenia: Zvezni serifi (Way Out Series)
Taiwan: Deadly Order to Kill (English translation)
Turkey: Kaçaklarin pesinde (Behind the Leak)

Rotten Tomatoes

27% Fresh | 30 Reviews

2 Reasons to See It

1. Don’t nobody tote around a nickel plated sissy pistol like Robert Downey Jr.
2. Gaze in wonder as his government-employed character changes his suit and tie 42 times in 4 days.


Formulaic action flick is watchable, but shouldn’t be your top priority.

If You Like It

You might also like Air America (1990), The Gingerbread Man (1998), Chuck Norris TV shows