'Midnight Run' - Movie Review

Robert De Niro plays Jack Walsh, a bounty hunter and former cop who's hoping that bringing in Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin) will allow him to retire from a job he doesn't particularly like. Unfortunately, I knew (although I don't remember how I found out) the punchline to the movie: it was made in 1988, I've had a bit of time to pick up clues. But in the intervening years, it's also acquired a bit of a "classic" shine to it, so I thought I'd give it a go.

This is a comedy. Unfortunately for me, I don't love either of these guys' comedic skills, or the writer's decisions about the kinds of jokes to deliver. Walsh is to get Mardukas to L.A. in five days, with a $100,000 payoff (pretty damn substantial in 1988 when this was shot). He has to contend with a treacherous bail bondsman (Joe Pantoliano), another bounty hunter (John Ashton), an FBI agent (Yaphet Kotto), a mob boss who wants to kill both of them (Dennis Farina), and a prisoner who's afraid of flying, freaks out, and gets them stuck with ground transport.

The comedy is at least varied, although a lot of it revolves around interactions between Walsh and Mardukas, with Mardukas being irritating (and well meaning) and Walsh being ... angry. It's somewhat amusing, but I found it kind of a long haul to get to a punch line that had no kick.