John Landis is perhaps one of the most underappreciated directors in Hollywood. Sure, he hasn’t done much in recent years but he is a brilliant and versatile director responsible for such classics as Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Coming to America, and Three Amigos. One of my personal favorite films of his is one that usually goes unmentioned, Into the Night, which is receiving a much-deserved Blu-ray debut from Shout Factory.
Jeff Goldblum plays Ed Okin, who is having a severe bout of insomnia. After discovering his wife is having an affair, Ed drives to the airport late one night considering a trip to Las Vegas to get away from it all. But when he encounters Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer), a beautiful young woman on the run from men trying to kill her, Ed’s life gets turned upside down as he spends the next 24 hours trying to help Diana out of her mess. Along the way Ed encounters movie producers, actors, a hitman, an Elvis impersonator and four insane Iranians. But at least his life isn’t boring anymore.
Into the Night is an unusual, quirky and fun comedy adventure that is offbeat and somewhat dreamy, anchored by two fantastic performances by Goldblum and Pfeiffer. There are also some great supporting performances and cameos from the likes of Landis himself, Dan Aykroyd, David Cronenberg, Dedee Pfeiffer, Rick Baker, Kathryn Harrold, Paul Mazursky and an amazingly memorable role played by David Bowie. The chemistry between Goldblum and Pfeiffer is excellent although not really romantic, the pace and production design is hypnotic and dreamlike, the humor classic and delivered with zeal, especially by Goldblum, and the story unique. The laughs are trademark Landis; dry, delivered nonchalantly, and absolute gold.
The new Blu-ray edition of Into the Night features a new restored master that looks phenomenal, a great retrospective featurette featuring John Landis that is full of great stories about making the film, an equally entertaining all new interview featurette with Goldblum, and an award-winning documentary entitled B.B. King Into the Night. This one is a wonderful and unique comedy that I am hoping finds a whole new audience with this new Blu-ray edition. It certainly deserves it. Very highly recommended.