#5 Midnight Run (1988)

One of the things I’d like to accomplish over the course of this exercise is to see actors that I’m “supposed” to recognize as the all-time greats. Certainly Robert De Niro falls into that category and I’ve somehow managed to not see many of his performances. Today we’ve got Midnight Run, an action-comedy about a bounty hunter, Jack Walsh, looking to find his man, an accountant by the name of Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas in New York and transporting him back to Los Angeles for a cool $100,000.

There are apparently a lot of people interested in this guy The Duke as he was involved with the Chicago mob managing their funds, some of which he embezzled to charitable causes instead of their illegal activities. The FBI wants him to testify against his bosses in the mob and in turn the mob wants him dead. Jack doesn’t give a fuck about all that, he just wants his money so he can get out of this gig and open up a coffee shop. Through the course of the crosscountry trip there are continual run-ins with the feds, mob henchman and a rival coworker looking for a chance at some big money himself. We learn a good bit about Walsh’s motives and what led him to this line of work and of course the significance of this particular bounty.

To be honest, I don’t think there’s much else to say about Midnight Run. It’s a fun movie to watch. Sarcastic humor from De Niro, Charles Grodin playing The Duke is a great foil coming off as neurotic in all his attempts to get out of this mess and turning it on and off depending on the situation (got a good laugh seeing him piloting that plane). There’s plenty of action with a couple of shootouts one of which including a helicopter. The film is paced out really well between moments of conflict and the traveling scenes where Walsh and Mardukas talk about stuff. The end is a little predictable, but it’s a good time getting there.

Like it!

-Mikhail

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