DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

INTO THE NIGHT (director/writer: John Landis; screenwriter: Ron Koslow; cinematographer: Robert Paynter; editor: Malcolm Campbell; music: B. B. King; cast: Jeff Goldblum (Ed Okin), Michelle Pfeiffer (Diana), David Bowie (Colin Morris), Richard Farnsworth (Jack Caper), Vera Miles (Joan Caper), Irene Papas (Shaheen Parvizi), Clu Gulager (Federal Agent), Stacey Pickren (Ellen Okin), Dan Aykroyd (Herb), Bruce McGill (Charlie), Kathryn Harrold (Christie), Paul Mazursky (Bud Herman), Jake Steinfeld (Larry), John Landis (Irani gunman); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: R; producer: George Folsey Jr./Ron Koslow; Universal Studios; 1985)

"Because of all the cameos and in-jokes, this gimmicky weightless film should appeal to mostly film buffs."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

John Landis ("Blues Brothers"/"Twilight Zone"/"Coming to America") helms and co-writes with Ron Koslow this lackluster comedy/crime film. It is somewhat entertaining even if its premise is not realized and the comic antics fall short.

Angst-ridden nerdy insomniac aerospace engineer (Jeff Goldblum) is troubled over his unfaithful wife. While sitting all night in his car at the LA airport's underground garage, a beautiful woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) hops into his car and tells him to drive. They barely escape from four gun-wielding pursuing Iranian gunmen (one played by the director), when Pfeiifer tells him she has smuggled six emeralds once owned by the Shah for her boyfriend. Meanwhile she's pursued by Arab crooks and SAVAK (Iranian secret police).

The convoluted episodic film follows a number of adventures the unlikely duo get into while on the road. The colorful characters they encounter during the chase include a number of Hollywood directors making cameos (Don Siegel, Jonathan Demme, Jack Arnold, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Bartel, David Cronenberg, Jim Henson, Roger Vadim, Richard Franklin, Colin Higgins, Andrew Marton, Jonathan Kaufer, and Amy Heckerling. David Bowie briefly appears as a hired killer. Landis is funny playing an Iranian bad guy.

Because of all the cameos and in-jokes, this gimmicky weightless film should appeal to mostly film buffs.  

REVIEWED ON 5/1/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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