Hudson Hawk (1991) – Michael Lehmann

Bruce Willis stars in Hudson Hawk, which feels overly cartoonish in both its violence and humor, and seems made only to appease Willis’ ego and portray him as a very cool guy. I won’t lie, there are things about this film I do like, but I hadn’t seen it since it’s release, and wow, this one is just bizarre.

Willis is playing a heightened version of himself, it feels anyway as he mugs throughout the film, as he takes on the role of Eddie, the Hudson Hawk, an exemplary cat burglar that gets caught up in an international race to reclaim pieces of a DaVinci invention that can transform lead into gold.

Aided by his partner Tommy Five Tone (Danny Aiello), they find themselves dealing with the devious, and insane Mayflowers (Richard E, Grant and Sandra Bernhard) who are intent on claiming the pieces for themselves, and aren’t above using violence and blackmail to get Eddie to do what they want.

Throw in a Vatican official, Anna (Andie MacDowell) and a CIA officer (James Coburn) and his candy bar named assassins, and Hawk is going to have his hands full no matter which way he leaps, but I’m sure he can figure out a song to sing while he does it.

It’s goofy, a little homophobic, and honestly, feels like its up for offending anyone it wants, with Willis at the film’s center believing he and his character are more charming than they actually are.

Featuring gorgeous location work, it’s obvious that this was a vanity project for Willis and his fellows, and there’s not a lot going on in it that is actually of note, except for the actors that they corralled to star in the film, they even grabbed David Caruso, who has no dialogue, is a master of disguise, and communicates everything via little business cards.

It’s silly, inane, occasionally offensive, and rode on the coattails of Willis’ success with Die Hard 2. It’s little more than a cartoon, scripted with some silly gags, goofy action sequences, and Willis posing.

Don’t get me wrong, there could actually have been something really fun in here, something that could have endured, there are elements of a cool story, but egos got too far away from people, and we were given something completely disposable, forgettable, and it’s no wonder that I haven’t taken a look at this film since the 90s.

Looking back on it, even those who were involved in it, including Willis, regret how it turned out. Initially conceived of as a bit of an homage to the Bing/Crosby Road movies, the film strayed too far from its idea to be salvageable, and instead is now, better best forgotten, you know like Die Hard 5.

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