In a continuing theme of finding random films on Sky Movies that I’ve not seen yet, we watched Midnight Run last night. It’s a reasonably typical buddy-cop action comedy style movie from the late 80’s staring Robert De Niro. The story centres around De Niro’s character, an ex-Chicago cop turned bounty hunter, his history with the mob, and a bail bond collection he has to bring back before midnight in five days from the start of the flick.
The otherwise simple collection is complication by the involvement of several other factions. The FBI has an interest, the mob has an interest, De Niro’s ex-wife and family show up briefly, another bounty hunter is involved and the bail runner himself (an ex-mob accountant) clearly has some involvement. The single-threaded plot moves forward at a good pace to bring all these factions together at various moments and then again for the finale.
There’s no overt slapstick here, the comic moments come from the story, characters and the dialog. De Niro brings his usual weight to what could have been a pretty light role, adding depth and emotion to the main character. The supporting cast is pretty good, and I enjoyed Yaphet Kotto as the main FBI agent. The dialog between De Niro and Charles Grodin’s character (the ex-accountant) drives the story forward and makes up a good 50% of the on-screen action, so luckily it’s interesting and worth listening to.
Midnight Run is a better than average implementation of a common 80’s theme, standing above the others due in no small part to De Niro and the well written dialog.