Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) is a middle class man with a boring job, a case of insomnia and, to top it all off, he just found out that his wife is cheating on him. One night he goes out for a drive and finds himself at an LA airport, where he encounters a beautiful young woman, Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer) on the run from Middle East criminals who want something in her possession. From there Ed is embroiled in a wild, out of control chase with various characters after him and Diana. Will he survive? More importantly, will he finally get some sleep? —IMDb
With as much monkeying-around as his movies frequently display, it should come as no surprise to John Landis fans that one of his earliest inspirations as a filmmaker was the original 1933 version of King Kong. The man behind such carefree comedies as Animal House, Landis has also helped to blur the lines between comedy and horror with such efforts as An American Werewolf in London and Innocent Blood, in addition to crafting such fine-tined social satire as Trading Places.
Born in Chicago in August of 1950, Landis originally worked in the mailroom at Fox and later as a stuntman before making a name for himself as a director. Landis was in his early twenties when he decided it was time to make a feature, and after a brief flirtation with the idea of crafting an underground porn film, the aspiring director raised the funding needed for his directorial debut from family and friends. The result of his tireless efforts was the relentlessly juvenile but infectiously silly Schlock… read more
Punctuated by brief bits of Landis' madcap charm, INTO THE NIGHT weaves Goldblum's (surprisingly) muted everyman, Pfieffer's assured damsel & a flurry of director cameos through a convoluted web that loses coherence as it reaches its climax. The tough alchemic mix of comedy/violence that defines AMERICAN WEREWOLF isn't replicated here; wildly fluctuating tones are usually a plus but unfortunately don't click here.
A catatonic Goldblum erases his personality and is as interesting to watch as someone in a coma. Starts as an absurdist comedy but by the end jokes are AWOL. Does Landis believe he's making a suspense mystery? Farnsworth delivers a long explanatory speech near the end, indulging the writer's deluded belief that we care about plot machinations in light entertainments. The Big Sleep (1946) already proved we don't.