I Saw A film!
A planes, Trains and automobiles adventure that puts De Niro and Grodin together in comic, but adversarial framing. Of course, with the likes of Dennis Farina as a mob boss, Yaphet Kotto as an FBI investigator and Joey “Pants” as a bail bonds chief all coming at them from different sides, the resulting series of unlikely scenarios seem to work. Even when Grodin is trying to hijack a biplane and Bobby has to cold-cock him to get him out of the cockpit (see what I did there?).
Yaphet Kotto looks great, looming around and looking angry. Dennis Farina had a short lived 60’s based cop show called Crime Story a year or so before this movie, that my old man loved. Mainly because it was regularly violent. It briefly ran old Del Shannon’s song Runaway into the hit range again. I don’t remember much but the old cars. This film allows some range for De Niro that few other films ever allowed him. He got to smile, laugh, goof off and otherwise behave like a sympathetic law enforcement guy who hasn’t seen his baby daughter in nine years.
There are a ton of double crosses, and underhanded dealings, and just when you think the gig is up, well, in pops rival bounty hunter John Ashton for a further complication and chance for near miss escapes. Joey Pantoliano basically plays the same two-faced, difficult to trust character he played later in the Matrix and there you go.
Of course, the bonding between Grodin and De Niro is inevitable, but still satisfying. This is running free on Netflix (USA) right now and worth the couple of hours of light aggressive amusement. One that reminds us how good Grodin was a complicated character capable of drama and humor.