Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin are sublime in this film, and when they are on screen together, there’s a nervous energy that gives way to unexpected warmth with jolts of action and physical humor that’s a joy to behold.
Directed by the sly Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop, Going In Style, Scent of a Woman) from a screenplay by genre specialist George Gallo (Wise Guys, Middle Men, Bad Boys), the supporting cast in Midnight Run provides many scenes with added depth and texture, with Yaphet Koto, Joe Pantoliano, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Jack Kehoe, and Philip Baker Hall all making very memorable appearances. It’s a crime that Brest was run out of town by the powers that be; I still maintain that Gigli isn’t as bad as its worst review, and his adult sensibilities are very much missed these days.
Smooth on a production level without ever being garish or unnecessarily over the top, there’s a clean elegance to Donald Thorin’s cinematography, while Danny Elfman’s playful score rounds everything out. And it must be mentioned that the editing in Midnight Run is remarkable, from the expert comedic timing with certain cuts, to how the rambunctious action was presented; three of the best in the business worked on this movie – Chris Lebenzon, Michael Tronick, and Billy Weber. I’ve seen Midnight Run too many times to accurately count, and I look forward to each revisit as if it were my first viewing. Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and via various streaming providers.
Review by Nick Clement