Midnight Run

Year: 1988
Studio: Universal
Director: Martin Brest
Producer: Martin Brest
Writer: George Gallo
Cast: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Joe Pantoliano, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Yaphett Kotto, Philip Baker Hall

For some reason this is seen as a modern classic in the buddy action comedy movie whenever I see it mentioned, though I can't work out what it has that no others did other than perhaps coming a few years before the likes of Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour.

De Niro is bounty hunter Jack, asked by his slimy bail bondsman friend (Pantoliano) to nab a soft spoken accountant for the mob (Grodin) who's double crossed his employers and given away a sizeable amount of money to charity. With not only the bloodthirsty mob in tow but a thuggish competing bounty hunter (Ashton) and the FBI, all Jack has to do is fly to New York, grab The Duke (the comical name given to the nerdy accountant) and return to LA.

But comedy of errors, double crosses, desperate scrapes and more get in the way and the pair have to get home any way they can, including trains, stolen vehicles, buses and goods trains like a pair of hobos. In the ensuing days, Jack finds softens despite himself until the warm but predictable outcome. It's good clean profane violent fun.

A who's who of 80s talent lined up for director Martin Brest, who'd been given the keys to Hollywood after bringing Eddie Murphy, Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer and their high concept style to prominence a few years earlier with Beverly Hills Cop.

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