Midnight Run (****)

Posted on December 3rd, 2002 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

When I come across Midnight Run while channel surfing, I always stop and stick (if it’s the uncut version)…instant velcro. It starts with a bang and doesn’t slow down — the script, acting and directing are impeccable. There’s even a scene that gets me choked up. And the movie is funny from beginning to end. Laugh-out-loud funny.

When I was introduced to this movie I hesitated. Robert DeNiro and….Charles Grodin? DeNiro, the Method Actor and Grodin the limp dishrag?? In a BUDDY COMEDY??!? Yecch.

Boy, was I wrong. Every major character is perfectly cast and gives a nearly perfect performance, and I am not exaggerating. DeNiro and Grodin are the perfect foils, and do not slip into the trite ruts laid by a thousand other buddy movies. Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina and Joe Pantoliano all take what would normally be two-dimensional, stereotypical supporting parts and imbue them with life, personality and realism.

About the uncut version…don’t watch the broadcast (edited) version. It’s awful. Some of the characters are hard-bitten and street-wise, and the profanity is used as a natural spice, but not gratuitously. If you are easily offended by profanity, even in context, then skip this movie altogether. Watching the edited version of this movie would be like viewing a classic Rubens painting with crude pasties and fig leafs awkwardly drawn over the naughty bits. Watch the premium cable version, or better yet rent (or buy!) the video.

If you’re looking for a comedy with depth, bite, wit and excitement, then catch Midnight Run.

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