Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1988. Universal Pictures, City Light Films. Screenplay by George Gallo. Cinematography by Donald E. Thorin. Produced by Martin Brest. Music by Danny Elfman. Production Design by Angelo P. Graham. Costume Design by Gloria Gresham. Film Editing by Chris Lebenzon, Michael Tronick, Billy Weber. Golden Globe Awards 1988. National Board of Review Awards 1988.
This is a film that successfully merges action, comedy, and even a few moments of genuine drama and poignancy. The fact that it comes from the director who would later bring us Scent Of A Woman, Meet Joe Black and Gigli is definitely a sign of auteur power gone awry, because Midnight Run is a smart, fun and intelligent film that satisfies on all levels. Robert De Niro is at his best as a bounty hunter for a bail bondsman who is given the job of a lifetime when he is asked to go across the country and pick up a fugitive accountant (Charles Grodin). Grodin stole from the mob and gave the money to charity, and now announces that he also has a severe fear of flying, forcing De Niro to take him by train, car and eventually foot all the way from one coast to another in order to collect a whopping hundred thousand dollars reward. Trouble is, he’s also got a rival hunter on his tail and the FBI on his back. The interplay between De Niro and Grodin (who has never been better) is priceless, providing the best comedy in the film, but the action scenes are a good time as well.