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1988 comedy starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. De Niro is Jack Walsh, an (unfairly) disgraced ex-cop turned bounty hunter charged with finding fugitive mob accountant Jonathan Mardukas (Grodin) and returning him to Los Angeles before the deadline expires on his bond. Walsh must go cross-country while fighting a rival bounty hunter, the FBI which is trying to catch Mardukas, the Mafia which is trying to kill him, and Mardukas, whose eccentricities make him a difficult prisoner.
A very entertaining film, and one of De Niro's first comedies, back when Robert De Niro in a comedy was interesting and not a sign of Badass Decay.
Tropes in this film:
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Why aren't you popular with the Chicago Police Department?"
- Authentication by Newspaper
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Walsh and Mardukas pretend to be FBI agents so they can "confiscate some counterfeit money".
- Bounty Hunter: Walsh and Marvin.
- Bowdlerise: Mardukas’ rant about plane crashes was heavily edited for airplane showings of the movie, for obvious reasons.
- Chained Heat
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Eddie Moscone.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Jack's a pottymouth. So are Eddie Moscone and Jimmy Serrano.
- The Consigliere: Serrano's advisor Sidney, whose advice Jimmy frequently disregards.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Apparently Grodin suffered permanent scarring from the handcuffs.
- Did Not Do the Research: Even in 1988, $1000 bills had been out of circulation for twenty years.
- Everybody Smokes
- 555: "KL5"
- Hollywood Law: Sure, Walsh helps the FBI nab Jimmy Serrano, but it still seems unlikely that he'd face no legal consequences whatsoever for impersonating an FBI agent, interfering with an FBI investigation, grand theft auto, and letting Mardukas go.
- To be fair, the FBI didn't really need Mardukas at that point. They only needed him to take down Serrano. They've got enough evidence on him now that they don't need the Duke.
- We also don't know that he DIDN'T get into trouble after the final credits rolled. Alonzo Mosely kept his end of the bargain to let Jack bring Mardukis in himself to collect the reward. We don't know that he didn't get arrested later. As for letting Mardukis go...he could simply say that he escaped.
- Impersonating an Officer: Walsh impersonates Alonzo Moseley.
- Jerkass: Marvin and Serrano.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Walsh.
- Large Ham: Eddie.
- Look Behind You!: Walsh gets Marvin with this repeatedly. Until the one time it's for real.
- The Mafia
- Miscarriage of Justice: Walsh is a bounty hunter because he was framed for being a Dirty Cop.
- Not So Different:
Jonathan Mardukas: You're OK, Jack. I think... under different circumstances you and I probably still would have hated each other!
- Odd Couple
- One Last Job: Walsh hopes to collect the large bounty from apprehending Mardukas and open a coffee shop.
- Poke in the Third Eye: Walsh realizes Eddie's phone is tapped and starts giving false information over it to mock the agents listening in.
Jack Walsh: Where am I? I'm in Boise, Idaho; no, no, no, wait a minute: I'm in Anchorage, Alaska. No, no, wait: I'm in Casper, Wyoming; I'm in the lobby of a Howard Johnson's and I'm wearing a pink carnation.
- Police Are Useless: Man, let's hope the FBI isn't as incompetent as it comes off in this movie.
- Race Against the Clock
- Recycled: the Series: as a series of Made For TV Movies for the Action Pack, starring Christopher McDonald in the DeNiro role and various guest-stars as the Grodin-equivalents.
- The Rival: Marvin to Jack.
- Road Movie
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: "It's not a payoff, it's a gift."
- Sympathetic Criminal: Mardukas.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Marvin goes on and on about what a genius he is, proves himself to be an idiot every step of the way.
- Tap on the Head
- Those Two Guys: Tony and Joey, the two Mooks who work for Serrano. Serrano himself refers to them as "Moron Number One" and "Moron Number Two".
- Title Drop
- Two Words: Obvious Trope: Walsh is getting annoyed by Mardukas' nagging, leading to the following exchange.
Mardukas: Jack, you're a grown man. You have control over your own words.
Walsh: You're God damn right I do, so here come two for you; "shut the fuck up".
- Viva Las Vegas: setting for the climax.
- Working the Same Case: Walsh and the FBI.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: Walsh has fallen into a raging river. Mardukas extends a helping hand but says "Promise to let me go." Walsh agrees and Mardukas pulls him out. Walsh slaps the handcuffs on Mardukas and says he'll let Mardukas go when Mardukas is back in jail.