Bullet Points: Midnight Heat
In this edition of Bullet Points, I look at the 1996 Brian Bosworth movie, Midnight Heat or as it was originally known, Blackout. The title Blackout coincides with the story of the movie much more than the generic Midnight Heat title.
- The Premise: Bosworth plays John Gray, a mild mannered banker living in Arizona in a beautiful home with his beautiful wife. But one Friday evening after work as he’s crossing the street, John Gray is the victim of a hit and run. He’s hospitalized and when he awakes he doesn’t remember anything. As he begins on his road to recovery he begins having flashbacks, but they don’t jive with the life of a mild mannered banker. It seems John Gray has a dark past.
- The Dark Past: As the movie progresses we learn that Gray was in prison and was eventually a part of a gang. That gang was run by Thomas Payne (Brad Dourif of Child’s Play fame). It would also appear that he was a part of bank heist at one point in his life. If you are like me, you are currently questioning how a guy with a shady past like John Gray ended up being a banker in Arizona living the American dream… but I’ll get back to that big question later.
- Curiosity Killed His Wife: Gray calls a phone number that popped back into his memory. The number was actually for the bar where Thomas Payne and his gang of criminals operate out of. This is when we learn that John Gray was actually Wayne Garret. Payne was working under the assumption that Garret was dead and gone, but when he finds out he’s alive he sends some of his boys to Arizona to kill Garret… they don’t get Garret, but they get John Gray’s wife, Sharon. John/Wayne calls the police informs them of his wife’s murder and then skips town in search of Payne and the secrets of his past.
- Lesson Learned: If Midnight Heat taught me anything it is that even if you have a prison record, even if there are stories in the newspaper that you are suspected of murdering your wife, as long as you come to the aid of a woman who is being harassed in a bar, said woman will overlook the prison record and possibility that you murdered your wife and allow you to stay in her home and assist you in your dangerous mission. This is exactly what happens when John/Wayne comes to the aid of Jenny (Claire Yarlett).
I’m fairly certain Brian Bosworth was not getting offers to do Shakespeare after his performance in Midnight Heat, but who really cares. The Boz gives it his best shot in this one. You can really tell he is trying and I have to applaud the effort. On the opposite side, Brad Dourif does a great job as the criminal mastermind, Thomas Payne.
Midnight Heat is one of those movies that is right in the middle. It is nothing I’m going to watch time and time again, but it is not even close to the dreaded What Not To Watch category either.
Here are a few more Midnight Heat Bullet Points…
- Nice Hat: When John/Wayne stops for a drink at the same bar he rescues damsel in distress Jenny, he is sporting a Seattle Seahawks hat. Bosworth played two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks in the late 80’s.
- Bad Form: In one of the shoot outs in the movie, John/Wayne displays some of the worst form in the history of guns being shot in the movies, but I can’t argue with his results.
- Hallmark Moment: John Gray’s wife Sharon is played by Marta DuBois. Our very own Matt Spector knows her well from one of his favorite Hallmark Movies & Mysteries programs, McBride.
- Man in the Mirror: If you ever wanted to see a movie where Brian Bosworth spends a great deal of time looking at his reflection then this is the Brian Bosworth movie for you!
- Jack Daniels Has The Answers: As I mentioned earlier, there is a big 800 lb elephant in the room in regards to how a man with the past John/Wayne has, ended up working for a bank and leading a normal life. Well, Lance LeGault of The A-Team and Iron Eagle fame clears it all up at the end of the movie. I won’t spoil it with the explanation.