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During the final battles, there is a short chase-sequence where Justin Mckay (Mark Hamill) and Lawson (Michael Dudikoff) fall down a flight of stairs after bumping into a nurse. Before and after this scene, both their shirts are covered in blood, but during the scene they are white and clean. See more »
[reasoning with Justin]
Justin remember when you first came here... you couldn't even speak.
See more »
Despite receiving top billing, I wouldn't call this a Dudikoff movie. It's Mark Hamill's movie all the way, as the former Luke Skywalker chews the scenery and steals the entire film. In a role that again demonstrates Hamill's versatile talent, he plays a mental patient who has escaped from his hospital to visit his doctor, Robert Mitchum in a small supporting role towards the end of the film. After an argument, Dudikoff's wife leaves him and goes to see her sister, picking up hitchhiking Hamill along the way. Dudikoff borrows his friend's car and sets out to find her, unaware of the danger she will soon be in. As much as I like to see Hamill play good guys, he always makes a delightful bad guy, and his role here is one of his best psychotic characters. Even when he's playing nice there's an underlining sense of uncertainly. The wife finds out Hamill is a psycho when he kills a hotel clerk and fashions a necklace out of her fake eye, dangling it from his finger and asking if she likes it. Dudikoff soon catches up, but learning he's a cop, Hamill forces the wife to hightail it, setting off a dangerous game of pursuit. Dudikoff thinks his wife is trying to get away with another man, and the entire time, always ends up one step behind. At one point he loses his car, forcing him to steal another from a car carrier truck as it speeds down the highway. (A great scene, by the way).
There's plenty of action: car chases, explosions, car chases, explosions, and one tense scene in which Hamill straps Dudikoff to the hood of a taxi cab and proceeds to slam repeatedly into the rear of a gas tanker (the driver of which must be completely unable to feel the hits his vehicle is taking). The climax at a hospital is pretty good as well, with a tense final encounter between Dudikoff and Hamill on the roof of the building. The gritty cinematography helps give the film a horror movie-like tone. I just wish we had known a bit more about Dudikoff and his wife. All we know is that he and a friend helped get her out of Russia, though how we are never told. But that little unknown plot point aside, MIDNIGHT RIDE is effective as a creepy little road movie, and fans of those should enjoy it. It would make a terrific Saturday triple-bill with DUEL and THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.
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