There’s a certain type of film which were synonymous with the 1980s. The buddy movie has undergone many different incarnations, from the early days of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin’s light-hearted musical partnerships to the gross-out comedies that infest our cinemas today. The 80s tended to centre on cop double-acts. Whether it was Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon trilogy, Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in the 48 Hour films, or prominent comedians and their canine counterparts. What epitomised them all was a strong sense of dark comic humour. Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin seem an odd pairing on paper, but their interplay in Midnight Run is one of the factors which makes it so enjoyable.
Jack Walsh (De Niro) is a bounty hunter who earns a living by hunting down people who skip-out on their bail for his employer Eddie Moscone (Pantoliano), a bail bondsman. Eddie is set to go bust unless Jack can track down Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Grodin) and bring him back to LA within 5 days. The Duke has embezzled $15 million from Chicago mob boss Jimmy Serrano (Dennis Farina), and Jack must bring him back safely whilst eluding Serrano’s hoods, the FBI Agent Alonso Mosely (Yaphet Kotto) and his cronies, and fellow bounty hunter Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton).
Midnight Run is an absolute hoot. De Niro isn’t a name you associate with comedy (indeed, this was his first comedy role), Jack’s edginess and anger is perfectly played-off against the dry oddball performance from Charles Grodin. They bring the best out of each other. Director Martin Brest really gets the most out of a George Gallo’s script, which is full of twists and turns. Midnight Run could only be made in the ’80s and the fact there’s talk of a sequel is frankly worrying.
– We Got the Duke – Interview With Charles Grodin
– Moscone Bail Bonds – Interview With Joe Pantoliano
– Hey Marvin! – Interview With John Ahston
– Midnight Writer – Interview With Screenwriter George Gallo
– I’m Mosely! – Audio Interview With Yaphet Kotto
– Original Making Midnight Run promo
Midnight Run is released on Blu-ray by Second Run on April 20.