Midnight Run

      Comments Off on Midnight Run

I grew up with Midnight Run (1988) on VHS. I didn’t like Midnight Run as much as Clifford (1994) or The Lonely Guy (1984) and it wasn’t as comforting as Sunburn (1979), but it got me my Charles Grodin fix, which was all I was after. Seriously, I was such a big fan of Charles Grodin as a kid. I’d tune in whenever I could to catch The Charles Grodin Show the few times it was on. So you can imagine how sad I am to lose Charles Grodin.

I think the reason that Midnight Run didn’t click with me the way some of Grodin’s other films did is because it’s really Robert De Niro’s movie. De Niro is the tough guy anti-hero and Grodin is his likable foil. Which is fine, Grodin is fantastic in the part of “the Duke” and Midnight Run is a pretty good movie. George Gallo’s script took the genius step to blend the most enjoyable aspects of the road movie with the buddy cop movie to make one pretty hilarious romp. It’s a work of some solid screenwriting that’s elevated by the chemistry between Grodin and De Niro.

Looking back at Midnight Run I can’t help but think that only in 1988 could a movie get made with these two men as the stars. You think of De Niro today and he’s this living legend who towers in the landscape of cinematic history while Charles Grodin has his cult following in the corner content to be the only ones who still watch Sunburn on VHS (where’s that Blu-ray upgrade?). I kind of love movies with improbable casts and inspired pairings. It’s great seeing Jon Rubin and Lenny Cantrow getting into so much trouble isn’t it?

It’s sort of awkward to use a review as a eulogy for an actor or a director. I want to say things about what Charles Grodin means to me but I also want to assess the merits of a specific film.The bottom line is I’ll miss knowing Charles Grodin is out there living his life and writing his books.