Robert DeNiro has pretty much done every genre under the sun from gangster flicks and dramas to romance and thrillers to horror and comedy. And while I really love almost all of his films, there are a few favorites that really stand out for me personally. Among them will always be films like Angel Heart, Cape Fear, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, The Mission, Mad Dog & Glory, Heat, Ronin and Red Lights among others. Another one for that favorites list is finally seeing its Blu-ray debut this month thanks to…who else…the fine folks at Shout Factory with their new line of films called Shout Select titles. The movie is Midnight Run.
Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (DeNiro) is off on another job, this time sent to find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin). With the FBI, the mob and a rival bounty hunter named Marvin (John Ashton) one step behind him, Jack finds Mardukas and must take him from New York to Los Angeles. And with Mardukas and his roster of personal quirks and issues, the cross-country road trip will not be an easy one. But to collect the $100,000 fee, Jack will do just about anything to ensure Mardukas makes it there alive.
Midnight Run is directed by Martin Brest who may be best known for yet another iconic 80s action comedy, Beverly Hills Cop, which actually has a lot in common with Midnight Run. They both have a lot of the same sensibilities and are both equally entertaining. And Midnight Run really does hold up as well, the action scenes are exciting and fast paced, the humor is great and frequent and the chemistry between DeNiro and Grodin is perfect. Even the supporting cast are all gold with John Ashton (also from Beverly Hills Cop), Yaphet Kotto, Joe Pantiliano and Dennis Farina all turning in fantastic and hilarious performances. Midnight Run may not have become the iconic hit that Beverly Hills Cop did but in my books it stand just as tall.
For the new Select Series edition Midnight Run sports a new 2K scan of the film that looks excellent, tons of interviews with cast members and the writer and a vintage making of featurette. If you didn’t catch Midnight Run the first time around do yourself a favor and pick this one up, it is highly recommended.