Midnight Run (1988)

(On Cable TV, July 2017) This is terrible. No, not Midnight Run itself, but the fact that Robert de Niro has made so many bad movies since 2000 that even a mildly enjoyable middle-of-the road effort like Midnight Run can feel like it features an entirely different actor. Coming from the late-eighties buddy-movie action road movie factory, Midnight Run often feels like a straightforward comic thriller. It hits all of the right plot beats more or less in order, sets up a decent ticking-clock mechanism, doesn’t make any risky moves, moves fairly briskly and doesn’t forget to have a little bit of heart along the way. In short, it just works, and it works in large part because we have a younger-looking de Niro taking up the lead role with some energy and determination. While not great art, Midnight Run is solid entertainment, and the look at 1988 America (no internet, limited ways to travel, to pay, etc.) is now just dated enough to be interesting. I had a decent time watching it, and few other qualifiers are necessary.

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