Sunday, February 12, 2006

Midnight Run

City Lights
Director: Martin Brest
Length: 123 min.
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 12 February

Midnight Run is proof that having a rock-solid cast can elevate a terrible script into an enjoyable film. It stars Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, Joe Pantoliano, Dennis Farina and John Ashton, and all, as expected, do great work here, creating nice little touches (like De Niro tucking the handcuffed Grodon's coat into the car before closing the door) and character tics (Kotto's continual exasperation towards his subordinates; Farina's hilarious threats) that work so well. Apparently, large parts of the movie were improvised by the cast which is the main reason the film works so well - and is so consistently funny - considering the rigid formula and dull buddy-road-movie cliches that exist in George Gallo's screenplay. Brest keeps the film moving through its two hours, though it does drag a little in the middle. He may not have the talent to improve upon weak material, but at least he can choose a cast who is readily able to do so.


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