Midnight Run

The buddy movie was big thing back in the 80s and 90s. Good buddy movies have also sprinkled in with various other film genres throughout the history of film. Midnight Run is my favourite buddy movie (even though I have a soft spot for Walter Hill’s action epic Red Heat).

The script had been through various drafts, Cher was set to star at one point – Eddie Murphy was also involved. Finally, it was two white men – Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin play the ill matched pair and they’re both very funny.

However, while the film is amusing, there are higher levels of characterisation at play here than in many other similar films (watch how DeNiro tucks Grodin’s long coat into the car when they leave DeNiro’s ex-wife’s house.) There’s also more character on show here than in many more serious drama’s or comedies.

Martin Breast directs very nicely, the photography is good and the supporting performances are a treat. Stand out is the musical score by a young Danny Elfman, a really a great bluesy soundtrack that takes some beating.

The late Dennis Farina is a treat as the heavy, and I believe a relative of Joe Pesci is one of the many goons.

Again, this film is very of its time. And feels like a rogue Elmore Leonard novel that Elmore let slip down the back of the sofa and forgot about. It would have been interesting to see what Martin Breast would have done with the film of Get Shorty, one feels it would have been a better piece of work.

So, 71 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.