Monday, 6 April 2015

Midnight Run (1988)

Martin Brest's 1988 road comedy that is a showcase of excellent performances, sharp writing and snappy editing gets a Blu-ray release courtesy of Second Sight Films.
Ex-cop turned bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert de Niro) is employed by bail-bondsman Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano with extra sleaze) to hunt down bail-jumping accountant Jonathan 'the Duke' Mardukas (Charles Grodin), so he can testify against the Chicago mob boss (Dennis Farina) who employed him. Unfortunately the Mafia are after Mardukas too, along with the FBI (led by Yaphet Kotto's Alonzo Mosely) and De Niro's old bounty-hunting rival Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton). With Mardukas afraid of flying, the only way Walsh can hope to get him back to Los Angeles in time is by road, rail, and anything land transport he can think of.

It would be tempting to put 'hilarity ensues' at the end of that paragraph above, but to do so would be unfair on a film that is a shining example of how to make a top-notch, well-crafted, entertaining mainstream movie. Made by director Martin Brest after he struck the big time with BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984) there's virtually nothing to dislike about MIDNIGHT RUN. The two hour-plus running time flies by in the company of the two leads, ably supported by a cast of character actors who all do their bit to make this a road movie comedy that's well above average.

George Gallo's script gets everything right, with snappy dialogue, and a plot that twists and turns with several different character threads but it never becomes confusing. It's interesting that De Niro, fresh from appearing in de Palma's THE UNTOUCHABLES, was keen to make a comedy as his next project, and he really is ideal in this. He is matched by Charles Grodin who provides an excellent counterpoint to de Niro's Jack Walsh and the chemistry between the two is a joy to behold.

Second Sight's Blu-ray comes packed with special features, including new interviews with Grodin, Pantoliano, John Ashton, George Gallo and an audio interview with Yaphet Kotto. You also get the original short promo film 'Making Midnight Run' which is looking a little bit rough as presumably it was taken from a VHS master.
            A shining example of mainstream movie entertainment, MIDNIGHT RUN is definitely worth a look of you're in the mood for a fine, well made comedy road movie.

Second Sight are releasing MIDNIGHT RUN on Region B Blu-ray on 20th April 2015

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