Hudson Hawk Movie Review

The good thing about comedies, as a general rule, is that they're too bland to have really bad plots. The search for laughs seldom strays too far off the beaten path established by the social mores of the target market, be that old ladies, stoners, or teenagers out on dates. There are comedies with solid plots, just rarely comedies with complicated plots.

What they generally aren't is full of capers designed by crackheads in search of comic relief, or a dominatrix dying to destroy the gold market with a Da Vinci alchemy machine only a cat burglar from Hoboken could steal.

Yes, the plot of Hudson Hawk is as convoluted as it is kitschy. Darwin and Minerva Mayflower (Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard) forcibly enlist the help of happy-go-lucky and half-a-second-out-of-prison Hudson Hawk (Bruce Willis) to steal the pieces to a machine that turns lead into gold. Hudson Hawk isn't halfway to a cup of coffee with his wise cracking cohort, Tommy Five-Tone (Danny Aleilo) when he finds himself back in the burglary game. Casing out a heist he meets nun/professional patron of the arts/double agent/love interest Andie MacDowell (vows of chastity can put the kibosh on even the best of cinematic love interests). When you throw in a CIA agent (James Coburn) and a couple of double crosses, you've managed to make the world's most convoluted comedy.

It begins to get bad enough to be good when Hudson Hawk and and Tommy Five-Tone start stealing while singing Sinatra and using the song to time their capers (and this happens in the first heist).

Hawk's only saving grace is that it's so implausible and so over the top that it lets inconsistency roll off like water on a duck's back. A car blows up with a character in it and he yucks about the experience without a scratch explaining, "Airbags." The CIA agent misses communism because it got him laid more often. The Mayflowers punctuate descriptions of their diabolical plan for economic destruction with a kitschy S&M routine.

It almost seems that the whole reason that Hudson Hawk exists is to provide punch lines for Jersey pretty boys before they get over the hill (which makes sense, Willis co-wrote the story) It's full of classic verbal cheap shots and one-line laughs, but it can't manage to carry interest in between the great quips. It's terrific entertainment for insomnia (and legendary for losing a fortune for the studio), a movie that's bad enough to not hold your interest but just good enough to make you laugh if you catch it at the right punch line.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , Michael Dryhurst


Hudson Hawk Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1991


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