Midnight Run Review
"I know you all of two minutes and I already don't like you!"
Although it doesn’t quite have the magic of his earlier Beverly Hills Cop, director Martin Brest works wonders with an energetic Robert De Niro in this memorably-scripted buddy-buddy action-comedy.The formula may be more than familiar now, well over a quarter of a century later, but Midnight Run was, back then, still a relatively rare beast. Released the year after Lethal Weapon, and boasting a heady mix of cop chaos, mobster mayhem, witty banter, and fugitive fun, with De Niro’s ex-cop-turned-bounty-hunter finding his hardest job yet in transporting Charles Brodin’s unwitting mob accountant across the country.With Yaphet “Alien” Kotto’s dogged FBI Agent on their trail, John “Beverly Hills Cop” Ashton’s bullish bounty hunter colleague determined to get the reward, Dennis “Get Shorty” Farina’s mob boss out to kill them, and Joe “The Matrix” Pantoliano’s bail bondsman manager desperate to get his prize, the mismatched duo must flee by any means – planes, trains and automobiles – to get back to LA in one piece.
If you haven’t seen Midnight Run, but have seen the fun but throwaway Dwayne Johnson action-comedy The Rundown (renamed Welcome to the Jungle in the UK) then this may be an even more familiar effort, as the latter was basically an unacknowledged remake / reworking of the same story. Of course Brest’s original was far better, with a sharp screenplay written by the guy who would go on to work on the excellent banter in Bad Boys, and a fun score by Danny Elfman, further reminding you of the whole Beverly Hills Cop feel to the piece. De Niro gets a rare chance to do something lighter, which he wanted as a relief from all the Scorsese masterpieces that had taken their toll on him in the preceding years, and he has great chemistry with Charles Grodin, and they remind you of the days when filmmakers really knew how to balance action and comedy.
These were the days when filmmakers really knew just how to balance action and comedy.
There’s plenty of love for the cult classic action-comedy Midnight Run, a rare early example of fun frivolity from Robert De Niro, who has a great time on his surprisingly eventful road trip with Charles Grodin, as director Martin Brest manages to recapture at least some of the magic evident in his earlier Beverly Hills Cop. If you haven't already, it's well worth checking out.
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