Midnight Run (1988)

R | 126 mins | Comedy | 20 July 1988

Director:

Martin Brest

Writer:

George Gallo

Producer:

Martin Brest

Cinematographer:

Donald Thorin

Production Designer:

Angelo Graham

Production Company:

City Light Films
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HISTORY

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant John Theofanis, a student at University of Texas at Austin, with Janet Staiger as academic advisor.

A 25 August 1988 Rolling Stone article included an interview of actor Robert De Niro, who portrayed “Jack Walsh,” and described the initial stages of Midnight Run as “originating in a witty and good-hearted script by George Gallo.” The article stated that the film was “shaped under the aegis of the powerful Creative Artists Agency which had recently signed De Niro.” Producer-director Martin Brest was also a CAA client.
       Although the final film was produced and distributed by Universal, according to a 9 September 1987 Variety article, Midnight Run originated at Paramount, which had considered casting the actress, Cher, opposite De Niro in a role originally written for a man. Instead, Brest moved the project to Universal and chose Charles Grodin for the role of “Jonathan Mardukas.”
       In his 1989 autobiography, It Would Be Nice If You Weren’t Here, Charles Grodin outlined his rigorous audition process. According to that source, Grodin stated that he auditioned twice for the role of the accountant, including a first audition that lasted three hours with Martin Brest that was conducted secretly at the Gulf & Western Building in New York City. Grodin reported that Brest asked the actors to improvise every scene. About Brest’s emphasis on improvisation, Grodin stated that “it was one of the reasons I was willing to audition.” Grodin also commented in his autobiography on the unusual ...

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The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant John Theofanis, a student at University of Texas at Austin, with Janet Staiger as academic advisor.

A 25 August 1988 Rolling Stone article included an interview of actor Robert De Niro, who portrayed “Jack Walsh,” and described the initial stages of Midnight Run as “originating in a witty and good-hearted script by George Gallo.” The article stated that the film was “shaped under the aegis of the powerful Creative Artists Agency which had recently signed De Niro.” Producer-director Martin Brest was also a CAA client.
       Although the final film was produced and distributed by Universal, according to a 9 September 1987 Variety article, Midnight Run originated at Paramount, which had considered casting the actress, Cher, opposite De Niro in a role originally written for a man. Instead, Brest moved the project to Universal and chose Charles Grodin for the role of “Jonathan Mardukas.”
       In his 1989 autobiography, It Would Be Nice If You Weren’t Here, Charles Grodin outlined his rigorous audition process. According to that source, Grodin stated that he auditioned twice for the role of the accountant, including a first audition that lasted three hours with Martin Brest that was conducted secretly at the Gulf & Western Building in New York City. Grodin reported that Brest asked the actors to improvise every scene. About Brest’s emphasis on improvisation, Grodin stated that “it was one of the reasons I was willing to audition.” Grodin also commented in his autobiography on the unusual pairing of two Midnight Run cast members with very divergent life experiences prior to becoming actors. Dennis Farina, who was an ex-Chicago detective, played mob boss “Jimmy Serrano,” and Richard Foronjoy, an ex-convict, portrayed mob henchman, “Tony Darvo.” Grodin stated, “It was fascinating to watch the ex-cop, Dennis, watch the ex-con, Richie, talk about his past, kind of like a cat and mouse who had called a truce.”
       According to studio production notes found in the film’s file at AMPAS Library, principal photography took seventeen weeks, from 26 October 1987 to 20 February 1988, far longer than the original plan of fifty days of shooting. Locations eventually included New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Michigan, Las Vegas, New Zealand and multiple Arizona locations. A 21 July 1988 NYT article reported that the scene in which Walsh and Mardukas leap from a cliff into water rapids required a major location shift for completion of that key action scene. Filming of the sequence began on a cliff located in Arizona and the conclusion of the scene, in which the actors land in the rapids, was shot in New Zealand: The article explained that Arizona waters were too cold for the actors, so the producers found a location in the Southern Hemisphere in which to complete the sequence. In the NYT article, Grodin stated that he took seventeen plane flights during the course of the shooting.
       The Robert De Niro Collection (HRC) at the University of Texas contains newspaper and magazine accounts of famed bounty hunters used by De Niro to prepare for the role of Jack Walsh. A 12 July 1983 Weekly World News article described real-life bounty hunter, Marvin Badler, as “a head banging, butt-stomping bounty hunter who strikes fear in the hearts of cut-throat cons from coast to coast.” Badler may have been the source for the name of character “Marvin Dorfler,” which was played by John Ashton. A 14 January 1983 New York Daily News article stated that bounty hunters usually received the equivalent of ten to thirty percent of the amount of the bail for successfully returning a fugitive to the court. In the film, De Niro’s character, Jack Walsh, pointedly demanded $100,000 out of the $450,000, numbers well correlated to standard fees.
       In August 1987, Robert De Niro filed an application with the New York Police Department for permission to ride along on police patrols. His Civilian Observer application is available in the Robert De Niro materials at the University of Texas at Austin. According to studio production notes, both Brest and De Niro accompanied the police on arrests and spent nights waiting in coffee shops, while “getting the lay of the land” to better understand the characters.
       Film reviews for Midnight Run were very positive, often singling out the chemistry and improvisation between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin as key to the film’s success. Several critics expressed relief at De Niro moving to more lighthearted subject matter. In the Variety review, critic Jane Galbraith stated, "Midnight Run shows that Robert DeNiro can be as wonderful in a comic role as he is in a serious one.” Richard Schickel, in the Times review, called the film “The Odd Couple on the Lam,” praising De Niro’s work for redeeming “an inherently improbable plot.” Michael Wilmington, reviewer for LAT, called the film a “sometimes murderously funny chase comedy,” noting that the film avoided the dreaded buddy action film fate by having “some soul behind the explosions, a heartbeat below the slick carnage.”
       In 1994, Universal made three made-for television sequels to Midnight Run that were presented as a three-part series, all starring Christopher McDonald as Walsh. The three programs were Another Midnight Run, directed by James Frawley; Midnight Runaround, directed by Frank De Palma; and Midnight Run for Your Life, directed by Daniel Sackheim. In a 5 March 2010 Hollwood Reporter article, Borys Kit reported that Universal had plans for another Midnight Run sequel . According to the article, Tim Dowling (Role Models) was hired as scriptwriter and Robert De Niro was set to reprise his role as Jack Walsh. In the article, De Niro hinted that co-star Charles Grodin would also return for the sequel that was slated for a 2012 release.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 1988
p. 3, 33
Los Angeles Times
20 Jul 1988
p. 1
New York Daily News
14 Jan 1983
---
New York Times
20 Jul 1988
p. 15
New York Times
21 Jul 1988
---
Rolling Stone
25 Aug 1988
---
Time
25 Jul 1988
---
Variety
15 Jul 1988
---
Variety
20 Jul 1988
p. 12
Weekly World News
12 Jul 1983
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Philip Baker Hall
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Martin Brest Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op
Cam op, 2d unit
Asst cam, 2d unit
Asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Key grip, 2d unit
2d grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Aerial photog, 2d unit
Aerial photog, 2d unit
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illus
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Prop master
Prop master, 2d unit
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Set dressing leadman
Const coord
Const foreman
Standby painter
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Men's cost, 2d unit
MUSIC
Orig score by
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Supv re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Scoring mixer
Mus copyist
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
Score performed by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title des
Titles & op by
Background compositing by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Chicago casting
Chicago casting
Loc casting
Loc casting
Casting assoc
New York casting asst
New York casting asst
Voice casting
Aerial coord, 2d unit
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Prod supv--New Zealand
Prod mgr--New Zealand
Prod mgr--New York
Scr supv, 2d unit
Prod admin, 2d unit
Prod coord
Prod coord--New York
Prod coord--Chicago
Prod coord, 2d unit
Asst prod coord
Loc mgr
Loc mgr--New Zealand
Loc mgr--New York
Loc mgr--New York
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod accountant
Prod accountant, 2d unit
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst to Mr. Brest
Asst to Mr. Gilmore
Asst to Mr. York
Asst to Mr. DeNiro
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst--Los Angeles
Prod asst--Arizona/Nevada
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Navajo liaison
Arizona Highway control
Arizona Highway control
Arizona Highway control
Unit pub
Craft service
Craft service
First aid
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Catering
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Asst stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Justin DeRosa
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 July 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 Jul 1988
Production Date:
26 Oct 1987--20 Feb 1988
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Universal City Studios, Inc.
23 August 1988
PA383115
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby stereo in selected theatres
Color
Astro Color, Metrocolor
Lenses/Prints
Panaflex Camera and Lenses by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
126
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29281
SYNOPSIS

As bounty hunter Jack Walsh pursues a bail jumper down a squalid Los Angeles alleyway, Marvin Dorfler, a second bounty hunter, arrives in his car and knocks the suspect down. Dorfler claims the bail jumper and points a pistol at Jack, who distracts Dorfler and knocks him down with a sucker punch. Jack escorts the fugitive to the local police station. When Jack goes to Moscone Bail Bonds to collect his $1200 payment, fast-talking Eddie Moscone is reluctant to come across with the cash, but proposes a bigger deal. He wants Jack to retrieve Jonathan “the Duke" Mardukas, an accountant who embezzled $15 million dollars from Chicago crime boss Jimmy Serrano and gave the stolen funds to charity. Moscone tells Walsh that he put up a $450,000 bail bond on the accountant’s behalf and Mardukas has now skipped town. Moscone needs the fugitive Mardukas back in L.A. by Friday at midnight or he forfeits the bond. Jack agrees to get Mardukas for $100,000, guaranteed in writing. Researching police records, Jack discovers that Mardukas made his first phone call to a New York City number. As Jack leaves the police records department, a cadre of FBI agents decked out in sunglasses and headed by special agent Alonzo Mosely, grabs him. They ask Jack what he knows about the Mardukas case. Jack claims to know nothing and pulls out his own sunglasses. While answering questions Jack pickpockets Mosely’s FBI badge and ID card. When Jack arrives in New York, Tony and Joey, two mobsters working for Serrano who are also looking for Mardukas, intercept him at the airport and urge Jack to turn Mardukas over to the mob. ...

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As bounty hunter Jack Walsh pursues a bail jumper down a squalid Los Angeles alleyway, Marvin Dorfler, a second bounty hunter, arrives in his car and knocks the suspect down. Dorfler claims the bail jumper and points a pistol at Jack, who distracts Dorfler and knocks him down with a sucker punch. Jack escorts the fugitive to the local police station. When Jack goes to Moscone Bail Bonds to collect his $1200 payment, fast-talking Eddie Moscone is reluctant to come across with the cash, but proposes a bigger deal. He wants Jack to retrieve Jonathan “the Duke" Mardukas, an accountant who embezzled $15 million dollars from Chicago crime boss Jimmy Serrano and gave the stolen funds to charity. Moscone tells Walsh that he put up a $450,000 bail bond on the accountant’s behalf and Mardukas has now skipped town. Moscone needs the fugitive Mardukas back in L.A. by Friday at midnight or he forfeits the bond. Jack agrees to get Mardukas for $100,000, guaranteed in writing. Researching police records, Jack discovers that Mardukas made his first phone call to a New York City number. As Jack leaves the police records department, a cadre of FBI agents decked out in sunglasses and headed by special agent Alonzo Mosely, grabs him. They ask Jack what he knows about the Mardukas case. Jack claims to know nothing and pulls out his own sunglasses. While answering questions Jack pickpockets Mosely’s FBI badge and ID card. When Jack arrives in New York, Tony and Joey, two mobsters working for Serrano who are also looking for Mardukas, intercept him at the airport and urge Jack to turn Mardukas over to the mob. By tapping the phone line of the New York number Mardukas called, Jack locates him and using the pilfered FBI badge, grabs him at gunpoint. Mardukas asks Jack if he works for Serrano and Jack admits he is a bounty hunter. Jack calls Moscone from the New York airport to tell him he will have Mardukas back in Los Angeles in a few hours. The Feds have Moscone’s phone tapped and listen in. Moscone celebrates but his assistant, Jerry, surreptitiously passes word to Serrano. Jack and Mardukas board a jumbo jet. Mardukas suffers a seeming panic attack, due to a fear of flying. Hyperventilating, he alarms the other passengers. Despite falsely identifying himself as special agent Mosely escorting a prisoner, the pilot orders Jack and his captive off the plane. They board an Amtrak train headed west. Mardukas offers Jack $200,000 to let him go, but Jack won’t take a payoff. He just wants his $100,000 to fulfill the dream of opening a coffee shop. The Duke discourages the coffee shop idea as a “tricky investment.” Back in L.A., Mosely smolders when Mardukas is a no-show on the flight. Jimmy Serrano is equally angry and threatens to stab Tony and Joey in the heart with a pencil if their work ethic does not improve. Moscone decides to bring bounty hunter Dorfler into the action, hiring him for $25,000 as a backup plan. On the train, Mardukas continually initiates conversation and offers advice to Jack, telling him to avoid eating meat, quit smoking, and work on anger issues. Jack confides that his daughter and former wife still live in Chicago, though he has not seen them for nine years. Mardukas suggests a family visit would be a good thing for Jack since they are headed in that direction. Mid-trip, Dorfler boards the Amtrak train and ambushes Jack for control of Mardukas. Jack again beats Dorfler to the ground and, in the guise of special agent Mosely, commands a porter to have Dorfler arrested at the next station. The real Mosely boards the train a few stops later with an ever-larger contingent of agents following behind. The porter tells him that Mardukas and Agent Mosely got off a few stops earlier. “I’m Mosely!” he snaps. Switching to a bus, Jack and the Duke continue their cross-country trek, heading for Chicago. Jack tells Mardukas that he is not a popular man with the Chicago police department because he refused to accept payoffs from a major heroin dealer. In retaliation the corrupt cops planted heroin on him and forced Jack to leave the city. As the bus pulls into the Chicago station, mob sharpshooters are poised to kill Mardukas, but an overwhelming force of FBI cars screech to the scene, sirens howling. Mob bullets splatter the bus and the FBI returns fire. In the chaos Jack and Mardukas take off in an FBI vehicle. Ditching the car, they take a cab to the Chicago suburbs to visit to Jack’s ex-wife, Gail. She knows about their escapade from the news. The visit starts awkwardly and Jack cannot help making insulting remarks about Gail’s current husband, a bribe-taking Chicago police captain. Gail offers $40 to Jack and loans him the family station wagon. Jack melts at the sight of his daughter, Denise, now an eighth grader. She offers $180 of her babysitting money to her father, but he tells her he cannot take her money. Heading west with Mardukas in the borrowed station wagon, Jack calls Moscone with a request to wire $500 to a Western Union in Amarillo, Texas. Tipped off again, Tony and Joey, subdue Jack and Mardukas in Amarillo. Alerted by Moscone of the duo’s destination, Dorfler also shows up and manages to knock the mobsters out cold with the butt of his shotgun. As Dorfler drives down the highway with Jack and Mardukas, his car comes under assault from a mob-hired helicopter. The assassins pulverize Dorfler’s vehicle. Using Dorfler’s pistol, Jack shoots out the rotor blade and brings the helicopter down in a fiery crash. While admiring Jack’s marksmanship, Dorfler is yet again leveled by a punch from Jack. Mardukas jumps off a cliff into river rapids, and Jack follows. Mardukas reaches dry land but Jack is stuck. When Jack asks for his help, Mardukas extends a tree branch on condition that Jack let him go. Jack says yes, but re-cuffs Mardukas immediately and they hop a ride in the back of a passing pickup truck carrying Native American workers. At the Indian reservation, Mardukas attempts to steal a crop duster airplane, proof that his fear of flying was a charade. When Jack again subdues Mardukas, they steal the workers' pickup truck and continue west. Later, they hop a freight train. Jack explains he holds on to his broken wristwatch because it was his first gift from Gail. Mardukas counsels him to move on with his life. Mardukas realizes they have a common enemy—his former employer, mobster Jimmy Serrano, was also the heroin dealer who wrecked Jack’s life in Chicago. Mardukas mentions that he had intended to transfer Serrano’s computer files to backup disks, but he never did. Jack and Mardukas leap from the freight train outside Sedona, Arizona to avoid Mosely and a battalion of Federal agents. Jack hotwires another vehicle and they head toward Los Angeles, but they are intercepted and chased by the Sedona police. Informed that the fugitives have been spotted, Mosely and his agents set out in pursuit of Jack and Mardukas. Dorfler, who has also arrived in Sedona, also joins the hunt. In a cross-desert chase, a number of police and Federal cruisers crash in heaps of flying metal, but Jack and Mardukas manage to keep going. Dorfler’s tenacity is rewarded when he happens upon Jack and Mardukas on a remote road. Dorfler takes off with Mardukas, and Jack finds himself in FBI hands. He asks Mosely for a phone call and reaches Moscone. Jack screams at Moscone for hiring Dorfler; however, Moscone says Dorfler called five minutes earlier claiming he was not holding Mardukas. Jack figures Dorfler is now working for the mob, and a call to Tony and Joey confirms this. Dorfler soon bungles the situation, and the mob grabs Mardukas free of charge. Jack needs the FBI on board, and knowing that Serrano can be busted for obstruction of justice for taking the computer disks--even though they don’t really exist, Jack convinces Mosely he has a plan to get Serrano. Mosely responds, “Get a wire on the man.” By phone, Jack tells Serrano he has Mardukas’s computer disks with evidence of Serrano's business dealings, and arranges a meeting at Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport. Jack says he wants Mardukas in return for the disks so he can continue on to Los Angeles and earn his $100,000 payment. Serrano agrees. The airport meeting begins in confusion, and Mosely thinks he will suffer a heart attack when Dorfler, having coincidentally purchased his ticket back to L.A., barges into the scene and causes Jack’s wire to disconnect. Serrano grabs the disks from Jack and tries to escape. Jack shouts, “He’s got the disks, Serrano has the disks,” which brings FBI agents pouring from every direction. Serrano is capture. Jack gains permission to leave with Mardukas for L.A., and they arrive on time. However, Jack calls Moscone from the airport and announces he is letting Mardukas go free because Moscone was a double dealer. The Duke gets misty eyed, but Jack advises him to shut-up. “Knowing you, you'll make me want to put those cuffs back on you." Jack hands the malfunctioning watch to Mardukas, as a symbol that he’s ready to move on with his life. Mardukas pulls out a money belt and gives Jack $300,000 in $1,000 bills that he has carried throughout the journey. Because Jack has already set him free, Mardukas assures him that the money cannot be considered a payoff. Jack accepts the money and starts to leave. When he stops to look back, Mardukas is nowhere to be seen. Outside, Jack asks a cabbie if he has change for a $1000 bill. The cabbie says, “Are you kiddin?” and drives off, as Jack continues on foot.s bounty hunter Jack Walsh pursues a bail jumper down a squalid Los Angeles alleyway, Marvin Dorfler, a second bounty hunter, arrives in his car and knocks the suspect down. Dorfler claims the bail jumper and points a pistol at Jack, who distracts Dorfler and knocks him down with a sucker punch. Jack escorts the fugitive to the local police station. When Jack goes to Moscone Bail Bonds to collect his $1200 payment, fast-talking Eddie Moscone is reluctant to come across with the cash, but proposes a bigger deal. He wants Jack to retrieve Jonathan “the Duke" Mardukas, an accountant who embezzled $15 million dollars from Chicago crime boss Jimmy Serrano and gave the stolen funds to charity. Moscone tells Walsh that he put up a $450,000 bail bond on the accountant’s behalf and Mardukas has now skipped town. Moscone needs the fugitive Mardukas back in L.A. by Friday at midnight or he forfeits the bond. Jack agrees to get Mardukas for $100,000, guaranteed in writing. Researching police records, Jack discovers that Mardukas made his first phone call to a New York City number. As Jack leaves the police records department, a cadre of FBI agents decked out in sunglasses and headed by special agent Alonzo Mosely, grabs him. They ask Jack what he knows about the Mardukas case. Jack claims to know nothing and pulls out his own sunglasses. While answering questions Jack pickpockets Mosely’s FBI badge and ID card. When Jack arrives in New York, Tony and Joey, two mobsters working for Serrano who are also looking for Mardukas, intercept him at the airport and urge Jack to turn Mardukas over to the mob. By tapping the phone line of the New York number Mardukas called, Jack locates him and using the pilfered FBI badge, grabs him at gunpoint. Mardukas asks Jack if he works for Serrano and Jack admits he is a bounty hunter. Jack calls Moscone from the New York airport to tell him he will have Mardukas back in Los Angeles in a few hours. The Feds have Moscone’s phone tapped and listen in. Moscone celebrates but his assistant, Jerry, surreptitiously passes word to Serrano. Jack and Mardukas board a jumbo jet. Mardukas suffers a seeming panic attack, due to a fear of flying. Hyperventilating, he alarms the other passengers. Despite identifying himself as special agent Mosely escorting a prisoner, the pilot orders Jack and his captive off the plane. They board an Amtrak train headed west. Mardukas offers the bounty hunter $200,000 to let him go, but Jack won’t take a payoff. He just wants his $100,000 to fulfill the dream of opening a coffee shop. The Duke discourages the coffee shop idea as a “tricky investment.” Back in L.A., Mosely smolders when Mardukas is a no-show on the flight. Jimmy Serrano is equally angry and threatens to stab Tony and Joey in the heart with a pencil if their work ethic does not improve. Moscone decides to bring bounty hunter Dorfler into the action, hiring him for $25,000 as a backup plan. On the train, Mardukas continually initiates conversation and offers advice to Jack, such as avoid eating meat, quit smoking, and work on anger issues. Jack confides that his daughter and former wife still live in Chicago, though he has not seen them for nine years. Mardukas suggests a family visit would be a good thing for Jack since they are headed in that direction. Mid-trip, Dorfler boards the Amtrak train and ambushes Jack for control of Mardukas. Jack again beats Dorfler to the ground and, in the guise of special agent Mosely, commands a porter to have Dorfler arrested at the next station. The real Mosely boards the train a few stops later with an ever-larger contingent of agents following behind. The porter tells him that Mardukas and Agent Mosely got off a few stops earlier. “I’m Mosely!” he snaps. Switching to a bus, Jack and the Duke continue their cross-country trek, heading for Chicago. Jack tells Mardukas that he is not a popular man with the Chicago police department because he refused to accept payoffs from a major heroin dealer. In retaliation the corrupt cops planted heroin on him and forced Jack to leave the city. As the bus pulls into the Chicago station, mob sharpshooters are poised to kill Mardukas, but an overwhelming force of FBI cars screech to the scene, sirens howling. Mob bullets splatter the bus and the FBI returns fire. In the chaos Jack and Mardukas take off in an FBI vehicle. Ditching the car, they take a cab to the Chicago suburbs to visit to Jack’s ex-wife, Gail. She knows about their escapade from the news. The visit starts awkwardly and Jack cannot help making insulting remarks about Gail’s current husband, a bribe-taking Chicago police captain. Gail offers $40 to Jack and loans him the family station wagon. Jack melts at the sight of his daughter, Denise, now an eighth grader. She offers $180 of her babysitting money to her father, but he tells her he cannot take her money. Heading west with Mardukas in the borrowed station wagon, Jack calls Moscone with a request to wire $500 to Western Union in Amarillo, Texas. Tipped off again, Tony and Joey, subdue Jack and Mardukas in Amarillo. Alerted by Moscone of the duo’s destination, Dorfler also shows up and manages to knock the mobsters out cold with the butt of his shotgun. As Dorfler drives down the highway with Jack and Mardukas their car comes under assault from a mob-hired helicopter. The assassins pulverize Dorfler’s vehicle. Using Dorfler’s pistol, Jack shoots out the rotor blade and brings the helicopter down in a fiery crash. While admiring Jack’s marksmanship, Dorfler is yet again leveled by a punch from Jack. Mardukas jumps off a cliff into river rapids, and Jack follows. Mardukas reaches dry land but Jack is stuck. When Jack asks for his help, Mardukas extends a tree branch on condition that Jack let him go. Jack says yes, but re-cuffs Mardukas immediately and they hop a ride in the back of a passing pickup truck carrying Native American workers. At the Indian Reservation, Mardukas attempts to steal a crop duster airplane, proof that his fear of flying was a charade. When Jack again subdues Mardukas, they steal the pickup truck and continue west. Later, they hop a freight train. Jack explains he holds on to his broken wristwatch because it was his first gift from Gail. Mardukas counsels him to move on with his life. Mardukas realizes they have a common enemy—his former employer, mobster Jimmy Serrano, was also the heroin dealer who wrecked Jack’s life in Chicago. Mardukas mentions that he had intended to transfer Serrano’s computer files to backup disks, but he never did. Jack and Mardukas leap from the freight train outside Sedona, Arizona, to avoid Mosely and a battalion of Federal agents. Jack hotwires another vehicle truck and they head toward Los Angeles, but are intercepted and chased by the Sedona police. Informed that the fugitives have been spotted, Mosely and his agents set out in pursuit. Dorfler, who has also arrived in Sedona, also joins the hunt. In a cross-desert chase a number of police and Federal cruisers crash in heaps of flying metal but Jack and Mardukas manage to keep going. Dorfler’s tenacity is rewarded when he happens upon Jack and Mardukas on a remote road. Dorfler takes off with Mardukas, and Jack finds himself in FBI hands. He asks Mosely for a phone call and reaches Moscone. Jack screams at Moscone for hiring Dorfler; however, Moscone says Dorfler called five minutes earlier claiming he was not holding Mardukas. Jack figures Dorfler is now working for the mob, and a call to Tony and Joey confirms this. Dorfler soon bungles the situation, and the mob grabs Mardukas free of charge. Jack needs the FBI on board, and knowing that Serrano can be busted for obstruction of justice for taking the computer disks--even though they don’t really exist, Jack convinces Mosely he has a plan to get Serrano. Mosely responds, “Get a wire on the man.” By phone, Jack tells Serrano he has Mardukas’s computer disks with evidence of Serrano's business dealings, and arranges a meeting at Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport. Jack says he wants Mardukas in return for the disks so he can continue on to Los Angeles and earn his $100,000 payment. Serrano agrees. The airport meeting begins in confusion, and Mosely thinks he will suffer a heart attack when Dorfler, having coincidentally purchased his ticket back to L.A., barges into the scene and causes Jack’s wire to disconnect. Serrano grabs the disks from Jack and tries to escape. Jack shouts, “He’s got the disks, Serrano has the disks,” which brings FBI agents pouring from every direction. Serrano is capture. Jack gains permission to leave with Mardukas for L.A., and they arrive on time. However, Jack calls Moscone from the airport and announces he is letting Mardukas go free because Moscone was a double dealer. The Duke gets misty eyed, but Jack advises him to shut-up. “Knowing you, you'll make me want to put those cuffs back on you." Jack hands the malfunctioning watch to Mardukas, as a symbol that he’s ready to move on with his life. Mardukas pulls out a money belt and gives Jack $300,000 in $1,000 bills that he has carried throughout the journey. Because Jack has already set him free, Mardukas assures him that the money cannot be considered a payoff. Jack accepts the money and starts to leave. When he stops to look back, Mardukas is nowhere to be seen. Outside, Jack asks a cabbie if he has change for a $1000 bill. The cabbie says, “Are you kiddin?” and drives off, as Jack continues on foot.

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