Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Random Movie Report #1- Hudson Hawk

I expected HUDSON HAWK to be either spectacularly awful- a so-bad-it's-good kinda thing- or slow, painful torture. I was surprised to find that it's really just an innocuous, slight little picture that passes along the screen and leaves a faint, tolerable impression. The one big mystery is how they managed to spend $65 million in 1991 dollars on the thing- it's not the kind of big, overblown effort that these famous flops usually are.

The basic plot is kind of insane. Eddie Hawkins (Bruce Willis), famous cat burglar, gets released from prison after 10 years, and with his partner Tommy Five-Tone (Danny Aiello), is recruited for one last heist. The first half hour or so is pretty normal, Eddie wants to go straight, Eddie wants a cappuccino but can't get it, the heist is pulled, there's a double-cross, etc. Then Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard show up as evil showboating billionaires, an auctioneer explodes, Eddie gets kicked around by secret agents with candy bars for code names (and product placement), Eddie is packed in a crate and sent to Rome, and there's some bigger scam involving Da Vinci creating a gold-making machine and hiding the crystals that power it in some of his other famous artifacts... I'll stop there. Andie Macdowell shows up too as a nun who doubles as an espionage agent for the Vatican, and who talks to her supervisor through glowing crosses.

It's obvious is that everyone involved set out to make a nice caper movie and got just a little bit carried away. The goofiness of the thing just keeps gradually piling up, and a laugh or two is had. Quite a few bits don't make any sense, and the humor is almost uniformly dumb. The script is by Steven E. DeSouza and Daniel Waters, respectively writers on THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE and HEATHERS, the latter of which was helmed by this movie's director, Michael Lehmann. I felt I should put that down just out of basic courtesy, but it also explains the weirdness.

I can't really recommend this movie. I can, however, say that if you're the sort of person who's curious about HUDSON HAWK, you can probably go ahead and rent it. Won't hurt.

Grade: C+

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