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midnight run

MIDNIGHT RUN (1988)- R

Former Chicago cop turned bounty hunter, Jack Walsh, is sent to retrieve former Mob accountant, Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas, who recently jumped bail. Though the FBI have been hot on his trail for awhile, Mardukas has evaded their attempts to recapture him. However, as Walsh closes in on Mardukas, Mardukas is forced to flee cross-country to L.A., where, once there, in a twist of events, he actually befriends Walsh, complicating the FBI's and rival bounty hunter, Marvin's alterior plans.

The cast includes: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Richard Foronjy, Robert Miranda, Jack Kehoe, Wendy Phillips, and Danielle Du Clos.

Directed by Martin Brest. Written by George Gallo.

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"Charles Grodin embezzled 15 million dollars.
The mob wants him dead. The F.B.I. wants him alive. Robert De Niro just wants him to shut up."

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Midnight Run brings the audience into the seedy world of Eddie Moscone's bail bonds business, which includes tough, resourceful bounty hunters who go after those who jump bail. In Los Angeles, Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) runs a bail bonds business in a seedy part of Los Angeles. He uses two, rather rough, salty-talking men Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton), and Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) to track down individuals who run after paying for bonds to get out of jail. Marvin and Jack have a lot of animosity toward each other, as they are often hired to track down the same person, which means they often try to steal each other's catch for the money.

When a former mob accountant, Jonathan Mardukas (Charles Grodin), runs away and hides, thus breaking his bail agreement, Eddie offers Jack Walsh $100,000 to find Jonathan, and bring him home to L.A. Former Chicago cop, Jack Walsh has big plans for this money, as he plans to retire from the scuzy bounty hunter business, and open up a diner. Before he even leaves for New York, however, it is made very clear to him personally by F.B.I. head honcho Alphonzo Mosely (Yaphet Kotto), that the F.B.I expects him to turn Mardukas over to them, because they want to charge him in federal court. Upon arriving in New York, the representatives of the murderous mobster, Johnny Serrano, let Jack know that they also want to get a hold of Mardukas before he can testify against them and will pay anyone handsomely to get him.

With hardly any effort in New York, Jonathan is soon in the custody of Jack Walsh, who isn't intimidated by either the F.B.I. or his old enemy from Chicago, Jimmy Serrano, a heroine dealer who had put the entire Chicago police department on his payroll, except Jack, who refused to do so. Jack was forced to leave the police force, his family and Chicago as well.

However, both Jack and Jonathan are in for a wild adventure, with unexpected twists and turns awaiting them, as their supposedly easy return to Los Angeles becomes disrupted by other interested parties, such as the F.B.I., who have bugged Eddie's phone, Jimmy Serrano, who has an informant working in Eddie's bail bonds office, and his competitor Marvin Dorfler. All do their best to gum up Jack's plans.

This adult comedy screenplay, by George Gallo, is nicely paced, has funny twists and turns that challenge Jack Walsh's ingenuity, creativity, principles and determination. The end result creates humor and chuckles with these creative characters, portrayed by a talented cast.

Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro make a delightfully odd couple, who add hilarity to their part of the story, playing off each other's opposite characters and lines.

Charles Grodin excels in his part as the annoyingly chatty, caring, mild-mannered prisoner, who tries to outreach to Jack to help him with his personal problems, to make a connection, while looking for a way to try to escape.

Robert De Niro's portrayal as an honest, principled, rough ex-cop turned bounty hunter was brilliant; a blended combination of seriousness and comedy, that really carried the story, and made the screenplay work.

Yaphet Koto was well cast as the head F.B.I. man, Alphonzo Mosely, who has a most annoying time of it, as Jack finds the fugitive that Koto's own F.B.I. guys couldn't manage to do, Jack picks his official ID off him at their first forced meeting, and then Alphonzo has a terrible time trying to catch the slippery Jack Walsh and his prized prisoner, in between having gun fights with the mobsters sent to kill Jonathan.

John Ashton is convincing as the somewhat brutal Marvin Dorfler, who has some rather painfully forceful yet effective techniques that he uses to get his way.

Dennis Farina is chilling as the cold-hearted dastardly villain, Jimmy Serrano, a mobster with no redeeming values at all.

Film is rated R. The language used in this film won't please the standards of most parents, so this film is for the over 17 crowd, who don't mind the potty words, and other 4 letter varieties.

If you enjoyed MIDNIGHT RUN, you may like THE LAST DETAIL, FLASHBACK, MEET THE PARENTS, THE GAUNTLET, and BIRD ON A WIRE.