Witty, smart, and engaging, Into the Night, perfectly captures the dream of an eighties guy stuck in rut. It’s surprisingly edgy for this type of comedy, leaving the scenes hanging as it punctuates all the dullness of a dead-end job. And dare I say it life. Not that mine is any different, so not just me but pretty much everybody can relate to Ed Okin. A guy working a dull, technical job akin to all the jobs in the IT industry today. A guy who’s desperate for something to happen in his life. Well, bumping into Michelle Pfeiffer definitely constitutes as something. John Landis directed a lot of great eighties adventure movies like The Blues Brothers, Coming to America, and Three Amigos!. Although best known by his cult classic An American Werewolf in London, he has a true knack for these adventure/crime/comedies.
Into the Night, as its title suggests takes place during the night, which gives it an exciting atmosphere. Not to mention all the action and the intrigue. It’s beautifully crafted with perfectly sized portions of exposition, chase scenes, and romance. Jeff Goldblum is excellent as Ed, with his subdued and dead-pan performance only rivaled by mesmerizing Michelle Pfeiffer. Her next movie will be Ladyhawke, propelling her into stardom. Here, she’s smart, sassy, seductive, and above all believable as a young girl in over her head. However, there’s also a surprising amount of people from the movie industry in supporting roles. From David Cronenberg over Jim Henson to Roger Vadim, it will be a fun game to see if you can spot them all. Not to mention David fucking Bowie!
Meet Ed Okin, an aerospace engineer working a menial but very specialized job for soul-sucking company. His wife is cold and distant and he’s having trouble sleeping, laying awake and looking at the ceiling. One of his friends at work suggests that he should go to Las Vegas to shake things up. And one faithful night, Ed decides to do just this. He pulls up into the airports parking not knowing that in just mere minutes his life will be totally changed.
One of the things I just loved about this movie is the way it slowly hooks you in. It opens with a slice of Ed’s daily routine, perfectly showcasing the eighties in all its glory and ominously predicting what’s to come. After the initial incident we’re propelled into the unknown as things just happening and the plot thickens by the scene. However, all this is done in a casual and somewhat lighthearted way, leaving you free to just follow what’s going on and enjoy the story. I also think this is probably Pfeiffer’s best role and not just because I immediately fell in love with her. There’s something about the way she moves and talks here, an air of grace, spontaneity and something I can’t quite put my finger on.
I won’t bother you with technical aspects as they were all top-notch. I’ll just mention the amazing soundtrack and title song by B.B. King. As one of the many, one wild night movies of the eighties, Into the Night will keep you both engaged and entertained. We will get into all kinds of situations and meet a host of strange characters. It’s an adventure that will leave you feeling good and strangely recharged. Mostly because you will begin to think that they might be a way out of anything you’re in. After all, if Ed could do it so could you. If you’re looking for more similar movies, check out After Hours, directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. Finally, if there ever was a time, it is now to say do not go gently into that good night!
Director: John Landis
Writer: Ron Koslow
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Dan Aykroyd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jake Steinfeld, Bruce McGill, Kathryn Harrold, David Bowie
Fun Facts: Counting John Landis, there are seventeen directors that make an appearance in the film.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089346/