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Midnight Run - The review of one of the best buddy movies of the 80s

Midnight Run – The review of one of the best buddy movies of the 80s

Summary : Jack Walsh, an honest cop, left the police because he refused to be bought by a drug kingpin. He is now a bounty hunter for Eddie Moscone in Los Angeles and must find the accountant who managed to defraud Jimmy Serrano, the famous kingpin.

Copyright Elephant Films

Critical : After his diabolical interpretation of Louis Cyphre in Angel Heart and before attacking the 90s under the leadership of master Scorsese for some masterpieces of the gangster film, De Niro offered himself a comic prank under the direction of the too rare Martin Brest. Accustomed to seeing the actor today only accept proposals for comedies that rarely exploit his large panel with finesse, the rediscovery of MidnightRun is a happiness. The film, not really recognized at its fair value, is an absolute success of a genre that hardly leaves the paths of funny and adventurous action cinema. The fortune of the feature film is ultimately due to this alternation of respect for genres and its pranks from one scene to another. The dialogues, written by a much more inspired George Gallo than in the 2000s (despite what one might think of bad boys, we will not compare his conversations to Shakespeare) are a delight as much in the hilarious exchanges as in the dramatic scenes of touching accuracy. The flawless directing of the actors, combined with the general performances of the team, Grodin and De Niro in the lead with a special mention for the late Dennis Farina, result in scenes of incredible sincerity. The one where Jack Walsh, camped by De Niro, meets for the first time the henchmen of the mobster Serrano, reveals all the talent of the actor to go from humor to tension in a few seconds. And what about this reunion sequence between the father and his daughter? A moment of pure cinema, where Brest and Gallo ensure a flawless characterization of their characters while their interpreter perfectly transcribes the inevitability of certain meaningful silences… without fear of asserting that the meeting may remain ( probably?) without a future.

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Copyright Elephant Films

The duet composed by the two “buddy guys” is for its part a communicative happiness and the talent of one only enhances the game of the other.

The overall elegance resides in fact in this indefinable rhythmic between first degree and lightness. The unexpected “score” of a Danny Elfman offering a blues creation full of haunting guitars, with pronounced sustain, is as such a delight and probably one of the finest works of the author.

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Copyright Elephant Films

But who says buddy movie commonly says “https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/action”. And what about in MidnightRun ? Through a narrative as classic as it is fluid, the film can boast of perfect rhythmic management which clarifies the above-mentioned logic: an oscillation between melancholy (Walsh is one of the most solitary characters in the entire history of buddy movies) and frantic races as funny as they are effective in cutting out rhythmic scenes. The expression “film carried out flat out” takes on its full meaning here without, however, having the impression of attending a mindless action film. The story finally makes fun of a few twists, however jubilant, to go only to the essential: the relationships between this gallery of funny, touching, detestable characters, but always human in their attitudes.

The opposition between the bounty hunter and the fleeing accountant works so well, that it almost becomes an allegory of the functioning of the footage as a whole… And this until the last shot, as amusing and poignant as the two hours before it. Reviewing the film therefore confirms several unexpected cinephilic desires: the first being to find Martin Brest, De Niro and Charles Grodin in such great comic form as in this year 88.


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