It's another unrounded number anniversary blog! Hey, if we can celebrate 5s and 0s willy-nilly, we can also appreciate classic action-comedy films in other years as well. And not many deserve annual love more than MIDNIGHT RUN.
The 1988 unlikely-buddy comedy/ultimate road movie turned a small domestic profit and won over critics but it was on VHS/pay cable where MIDNIGHT RUN morphed into a bona fide comedy classic. The pairing of the esteemed Method actor Robert DeNiro (in his first comedic role) and the persnickety, off-the-cuff Charles Grodin as, respectively, a crusty bailbondsman and an abrasively funny accountant who swindles the mob, was the masterstroke in the Martin Brest-directed feature.
Chemistry is a funny thing in casting. Prior to filming, not many would've guessed that the guy coming off of playing (spoiler alert) the devil and Al Capone back-to-back and a guy whose nice '70s run had turned into a series of '80s bombs would join forces to put on a master class in comedy. Their Mutt-and-Jeff routine is the backbone and pulse of the movie, the rest of which is a lot of fun set pieces in various recognizable American locales.
But this wasn't just the DeNiro-and-Grodin Show. The late and legendary character actor Dennis Farina almost steals the flick as the hilarious but menacing wise guy Jimmy Serrano.
Greats like Yaphet Kotto, Joey Pants, John Ashton, and Philip Baker Hall, among others, also show up throughout the story as Walsh and the Duke slowly make their way across the continent with the mob, feds, and rivals in hot pursuit. There aren't a ton of two-hour movies that fly by as briskly as MIDNIGHT RUN. And even when it takes a breather, it's either relevant to the character or carries some poignancy.
Now jack up the AC and fire it up. Then put on MIDNIGHT RUN.
If you don't have it permanently saved to the DVR, here's where you can stream it.