Friday, March 15, 2013

Midnight Run (1988)

Midnight Run
Directed by Martin Brest
Starring: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano
Grade: B

In terms of dynamics, “Midnight Run” is intriguing: it ends up playing out rather like “The Defiant Ones,” despite De Niro’s bounty hunter essentially having the upper hand in his quest to bring corrupt accountant Charles Grodin to justice. The difference here is that the characters’ main differences are behavioural, the film mining their contrasting approaches towards getting their own way for maximum laughs. The film had me worried on occasion; a scene in which De Niro returns to his estranged wife and daughter suggested things might take on a personal angle, while there are some questionable ideas about what constitutes justice towards the end. Nevertheless, “Midnight Run” has some enjoyably madcap qualities, and De Niro exhibits just how great he is at being the flawed good guy by giving a hilarious, immaculately-pitched turn. Ultimately, the success of the film probably depends on whether you buy Grodin’s quiet, apathetic charade of a performance, which I found disarming at first but grew to appreciate – mainly for having to compete against a man aware that he’s totally running the show.

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Good review Calum. It's a great movie that has still stood the test of time, mainly because of the heart at the center of it all. Without that, this flick would have been rubbish but there was so much more to watch here, just for the sake of that.