Movie Review – Midnight Run

Posted: June 9, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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De Niro and Tarantino, seems like a deadly combination isn’t it? Midnight Run is one such movie. The whole movie is slick, fast paced with witty one liners and comic tragedies. De Niro plays a bounty hunter who gets hold of criminals to be produced in front of court, gets to the skin of the role perfectly. We don’t get to see a focused, serious De Niro but a fun loving super spy whom we adore. He has played his part to the perfection in this black comedy.


In a black comedy more than the hero the supporting actors are the real charmers and here Martin Brest has managed to get the perfect cast. In the opening scene De Niro uses a unique gadget tries to open a lock only to be shocked by the sudden shot of gun. The movies tempo begins at that point and it doesn’t lose its tempo till the end.

Then he’s hired by a tax agent who asks him to get Mardukas, The Duke before Friday night. He agrees for a fee of 100,000 dollars and goes in search of him. FBI who comes to know about his plan confronts him but he escapes with the FBI special agent Alonzo Mosleys’ badge which leads to a series of joke. There are many more unique jokes like the sun glass one. When De Niro after escaping with The Duke in a police car keeps the sun glass on the wheel and leaves. Duke asks him what is it? He says it’s an inside joke. He gets back those sun glasses during the climax.

The funniest character is another bounty hunter, Marvin Dorfler, played by John Ashton. He thinks he’s clever and does things which only add to his misery. And all those Marvin jokes are just as hilarious as it could get. But the funniest Marvin incident is when he asks duke to pose for photograph and gives the photo to the gangsters with the motels name written on the towel behind it.

In a film where there aren’t much sentimental scenes I loved the scene where De Niro meets her daughter. You could see the apprehension between the two as well as the love they exhibit. His daughter hands over the money which she has saved to him but he refuses. For her he’s a good dad so she agrees to help him. And he proves her right. But as a good dad he doesn’t take the money and leaves off.

De Niro in this film shows why he’s a master. Good that he chose do a comedy. The way he handles the situation are absolute class. When he calls the tax man and says that they had been wired and tells exactly what the people who are tapping his phone doing made me roll on the floor laughing.

Duke on the other hand is no way less in being funny. Right from the scene where he says he has acrophobia he exhibits great attitude and steers De Niro to every point of trouble. He is super special when he acts as police and tries to get 20 dollar bills. When he says that he stole those money from Serrano to give it to the poor its largely unbelievable but only during climax he gets to know about it.

The movie ends convincingly and in a way we like. De Niro gives him the watch which his wife has presented him. Duke before would have said sometimes you just have to let go and he lets go off the watch during the climax. In return he gets 300,000 dollars from Duke. De Niro asks the cab driver if he has change for 1000 dollar bill. He asks if he’s crazy and the movie ends. That’s how the world is.

Ebert during his review of Fargo said it’s because of movies like these he enjoys watching cinema. For me Midnight run is a movie as good as Fargo. It seems to have sown seed for various Guy Ritchie and Tarantino movies. I enjoyed this movie as much as how Ebert would have enjoyed watching Fargo.


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