Midnight Run (1988)

Midnight Run
Directed by Martin Brest
Written by George Gallo
(number 325)

I’m not sure how this film got on the list. It seems like a pretty standard action/comedy from the late eighties, I feel like we had others like this on the list already and I can’t quite see why it’s a classic.

Having said that I did find this movie pretty entertaining. It’s a road trip with an odd couple and there’s a lot of people all trying to track them down from different sides of the law.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah, I love Jack and I love ‘The Duke’, they’re both pretty sympathetic and they’re both kinda sweet to each other. Like, especially Duke being like ‘you shouldn’t smoke’ and on and on about his health and life choices. It is legitimately funny, in a bit of a Blues Brothers kind of way, very dusty and smart talking and lots of cops and cool people smoking. The feel is similar, although with a lot less cool music.

The scenery is great, lots of open American landscape (which seems to be a theme in the movies in this list, like Paris, Texas and so on. Actually there’s a lot of similarities in the shape of the trip to Rain Man from the same year. The failed plane ride, the weird small towns, etc.)

Shout out to the stunt team and special effects for some neat sequences, especially the small plane taking off, the

Bechdel test: Nope. Denise and Gail are in the same scene but they only talk to Jack.

Best line:

Jack : Where am I? I’m in Boise, Idaho. No, no, no, wait a minute, I’m in Anchorage, Alaska. No, no, wait, I’m in Casper, Wyoming. I’m in the lobby of a Howard Johnson’s and I’m wearing a pink carnation.
Moscone: What the fuck are you talking about?
Jack: I am not talking to you, I am talking to the other guys.
Moscone: What other guys?
Jack: Well, let me describe the scene to you. There are these guys, see? They’ve probably been up for like two days. They stink of B.O., they have coffee breath, they’re constipated from sittin’ on their asses for so long, they’re sitting in a van, and they’re probably parked right up the street from your office, Eddie. YOUR PHONE IS TAPPED!

Duke: you know why you have an ulcer? because you have two forms of expression: violence and rage.

Duke: (as Jack is trying to evade multiple police cars) this is the kind of situation where something bad happens.

State of Mind: It’s De Niro, but it’s hardly him being impressive. He’s just being angry and violent, much like Mel Gibson in lethal weapon or a hundred other heroes of a hundred other action movies. It’s funny, sure, but it’s hardly ground breaking or any kind of zeitgeist. It’s fun, but I don’t know when I’d watch it again. I feel like it’s the kind of movie they used to play in the evenings over summer school holidays, around 9pm and I’d watch them if I could scam the portable TV off mum and dad. I don’t think I ever watched this particular one but it feels like that kind of thing. Also it felt a bit overlong, once Duke was separated from Jack i lost interest pretty fast. I started wanting it over, very fast.

And I feel I have to say… these fucking movies where two men get to know and care about each other… but it’s somehow never romantic? it’s bullshit. I just wanted them to kiss at the end. Duke was gazing softly at Jack, smiling and leaning in. Jack’s all lop sided and crinkly eyed and goddamnit it. Just. Kiss. Run away into the sunset together…

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