89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
An overlooked masterpiece,
This review is from: Midnight Run [DVD] (DVD)
Midnight Run is one of those films that people wrongly badged on its release and ever since then. This gem of a movie ranks amongst De Niro's best films, certainly one of the funniest.
It is an extraordinary roller-coaster ride full of some of the most memorable and funny one-liners on film. The director, Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop, Scent of a Woman) assembled a cast that could not have been bettered - from the two leads (Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin) whose on-screen chemistry is a joy to watch, to the hilarious, malevolent mob boss played to perfection by Dennis Farina (who some will know as Lt Mike Torello of the TV series "Crime Story") and to the double-crossing bail bondsman (the excellent Joe Pantoliano from the "Matrix").
De Niro plays the wronged-ex-cop-turned-bounty-hunter, Jack Walsh, who is conned into his "one last job" to bring in the bail-jumping ex accountant (Grodin) of a Chicago mob boss, who has embezzled $15million from his former employer and given it to charity. From one single event on a plane (Grodin's hilarious "fear of flying" act) the whole film grips you by the throat and does not let you go.
The sheer pace of the film keeps you locked in your seat, waiting to see what happens next. The dialogue comes at you like bullets, but unlike most other films of this genre this is a very polished piece of cinema. The comic timing from each of the actors is perfect. The lines aren't just delivered they are snarled, spat out and slapped across the face. The angst, cynicism and sheer exhaustion conveyed to perfection by each of the main characters creates incredible edges to this film.
Take, for example, the witless, chain-smoking, rival bounty hunter (a brilliantly cast John Ashton - formerly "Detective Taggart" from "Beverly Hills Cop") whose answer to an airline check-in clerk's enquiry as to "smoking or non-smoking?" (through clouds of his cigarette smoke) is a growled "take a lucky guess" - It could all so easily have descended into "Naked Gun" quips but delivered as it is in this punchy angst-ridden movie, it is sheer brilliance. Originaly Grodin's role was going to be given to Robin Williams - it would not have been right though (which was why Brest defied the studio execs to hire Grodin for the role).
The development of the relationship between De Niro and Grodin is great to watch. Starting from utter mutual loathing and developing into an uneasy partnership as the whole world is seemingly out to arrest them, kidnap them or kill them. As they slowly lose all their means they are foced together to survive and each begins to begrudgingly open to the other. The dialogue between them is at times poignant and often hilarious.
Do yourselves a favour, in the dark winter months rent or buy this movie and discover this gem for yourself. If you were one of the ones that saw this back in the late 80's but did not pay much attention to it - watch it again, it will probably surprise you just how good a film you forgot this really was.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jul 2013 21:20:02 BDT
A superb review, sir!
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Aug 2013 16:44:57 BDT
Could not have put it better myself. A superb movie and arguably my favourite movie of all time. I never tire of watching this.
Posted on 16 Aug 2013 23:58:43 BDT
S. Haddow says:
Love this movie - I also think it's one of DeNiro's very best but because it's a comedy it gets overlooked - I think what makes it special is that under the laughs, there's the threat of very real violence. Watch this guy with your cigrarettes Jack.
Posted on 30 Jan 2014 21:24:28 GMT
Damn right....Just because it is labelled a cop/buddy comedy action film or whatever it should not in any way diminish what it is and that is a flawless masterpiece.
Posted on 13 May 2016 11:38:27 BDT
Robert Coogan says:
I agree this underrated movie is great entertainment.
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