Thursday, 26 July 2007
Hudson Hawk (1991) dir. Michael Lehman
Starring: Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello
Gotta love the tagline:
Catch the Excitement
Catch the Adventure
Catch the Hawk
I never saw “Hudson Hawk” when it was originally released, and so when it came on Bravo! or TBS or something I thought I’d finally see what all the fuss was about waaaay back in 1991. That year it received three Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay and Worst Director. With this in mind I thought I could perhaps help rediscover the film and say… “hey ‘Hudson Hawk’ isn’t all that bad, it’s actually pretty good.” But I can’t. Hudson Hawk really is that terrible.
The film opens with a ridiculous flashback to the mid 1500’s where we see Leonardo Da Vinci working on several of his famous inventions, including a precious gold making device. Cut to 400 years later, Bruce Willis Ernie “Hudson Hawk” Hawkins a working-class-charming safe cracker recently released from prison. His best friend and partner in crime/mentor is Tommy Five-Tone (Danny Aiello). Immediately upon Hawk’s release he’s blackmailed by his own parole officer into doing another heist. He performs the deed using his trademark style – in time and sync with his favourite crooners. Set to the Bing Crosby diddy, “Swinging on a Star”, Hawk and Two-Tone, sing and dance their way out of the building successfully with the Da Vinci device we saw in the flashback.
Suddenly some government agents (one of whom is a skinny David Caruso) show up at an art auction who chase Willis down, kidnap him and blackmail him into stealing some more priceless art. Somewhere in the mix are Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhart (the only one who is watchable) who are also after Da Vinci’s inventions.
This is where I stopped watching and erased it from my PVR.
I didn’t need to see the rest of the film to realize the film is as bad as it’s purported to be. Is it bad enough to have Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello, neither of whom can really carry a tune, sing and dance their way through some of the most famous museums in the world? The action in the film is a cartoon slapstick mash-up. Though calling it ‘cartoonish’ would actually be insulting to the great works of Chuck Jones. The ambulance chase sequence is quite laughable for the wrong reasons (see youtube clip below). So let’s just call it crap.
The film was directed by Michael Lehman, who was already a cult favourite for making “Heathers”. He completely sold out with “Hawk”. And he never did recover fully either - among his next films were “Air Heads” and “My Giant”. Bruce Willis is the only one to fault though. It was a vanity project from the start – he even gets a ‘story by’ credit.
BTW: I also didn’t get the whole candy bar theme of the film. The government agent characters are named “Almond Joy”, “Snickers”, Butterfinger” and “Kit Kat”.
Though I can’t imagine why, but I assume “Hudson Hawk” probably has some sort of minor obsessive fan base that probably enjoys the humour and carefree attitude of the film. So there might be some angry comments. But for everyone else, I’m sorry I had to blog about this film. Tomorrow’s will be better. I promise.
Oh yeah Frank Stallone is also in it. Enjoy.
Buy it here: Hudson Hawk
Here’s the ambulance scene: