Do you know what we needed more of in 1996? Race comedy! Fled is a pseudo-remake of The Defiant Ones, only without any of the... you know... talent. Two convicts who are chained together are on the lam and running for their lives after another prisoner’s escape goes awry. Stephen Baldwin plays a computer hacker who has in his possession exonerating evidence and Lawrence Fishburne plays a black guy.
The two characters run to avoid the law enforcement officers who are trying to catch them, some that want to kill them, and some other stereotypes that put them in various compromising situations which results in Fishburne’s character doing something dangerous and Baldwin’s character saying silly things in protest. The stunts are uninspired, the screenplay is just terrible and the two leads have zero, I repeat, zero chemistry.
If this plot sounds even just a little familiar, well, it's basically the same movie as Bulletproof (with some negligible differences), an action/comedy with Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans from the very same year. Granted, Fled came out first, but man does this movie feel tired all the same. There is not one surprise, not one clever twist; everything is a retread. Fled is the very definition of a "potboiler". It merely exists to try to sucker in people who thought Stephen Baldwin may have acting chops after seeing him in The Usual Suspects, a good movie from Brian Singer from the year before. Now, I'll be honest, I don't know if Fled was actually FILMED before or after The Usual Suspects, so that point may or may not be moot.
Now, this is a derivative film, but that isn't why it is on my list. Fled is one of my picks for the worst films of the 90's because of just about everything else. The acting is bad. Really bad. Lawrence Fishburne can be good, but (at least not to me) he is not exactly leading-man material. The same issue goes for Stephen Baldwin. So there's you're problem. There is no actor that really just pops off the screen in either of the lead roles. They really just sort of scream at each other a lot, which leads me to the screenplay. This film is filled with some of the most predictable, bad dialogue where characters say exactly what you'd expect them to in their situation if they were reading from the Bad Movie Cliches Playbook.
Fled was directed by Kevin Hooks (who would go on to direct some pretty decent action television shows) and written by Preston Whitmore, who wrote 2006’s Crossover (LOLZ!!!). So, given the limited talent behind this production it isn’t any real surprise that Fled is fail. It is unfunny, unexciting and all around underwhelming, but the screenplay is where this one flops. It just works against itself, constantly stopping everything so these two unlikable characters can exchange one-liners and bitch at each other. God, I hated this movie.