Midnight Run shows that Robert De Niro can be as wonderful in a comic role as he is in a serious one. Pair him, a gruff ex-cop and bounty hunter, with straight man Charles Grodin, his captive, and the result is one of the most entertaining, best executed, original road pictures ever.
It’s De Niro’s boyish charm that works for him every time and here especially as the scruffy bounty hunter ready to do his last job in a low-life occupation. He’s to nab a philanthropically minded accountant hiding out in Gotham (Grodin) who embezzled $15 million from a heroin dealer/Las Vegas mobster and return him to Los Angeles in time to collect a $100,000 fee by midnight Friday.
Kidnapping Grodin is the easy part; getting him back to the west coast turns out to be anything but easy. The two guys, who can’t stand each other, are stuck together for the duration of a journey neither particularly wants to be on.
Midnight Run is more than a string of well-done gags peppered by verbal sparring between a reluctant twosome; it is a terrifically developed script full of inventive, humorous twists made even funnier by wonderfully realized secondary characters.