Hudson Hawk (1991) Michael Lehmann

Production Budget: $65 million
Worldwide Gross: around $20 million
Subsequent Earnings: ???

Ah, Hudson Hawk.  Just the sound of your name brings me back.  Do you remember Bruce?  Do you remember the beginning of your career?  You were terrific.  You were a successful tv star, then you got your big break in Die Hard and Die Hard 2, and then you were in Bonfire of the Vanities.  Wait, Bonfire of the Vanities, that was a piece of ****!  That was horrible, I hated that movie.  And, wait, THAT was a bomb too!  Oh well, that’s just the price we pay of having such a huge action star.  Bruce has had his share of bombs too.

Despite the bomb that was Bonfire, the studios were confident that Willis was a strong box office draw.  So they let him make his movie.  The movie had so many elements it practically had multiple personality disorder; it’s a parody, it’s a comedy, its an adventure, it’s a heist movie, it’s a buddy movie, its self referential, it’s a floor cleaner, it’s a desert topping.  They hired an up and coming director (whose only real claim to fame was Heathers) to direct this.  The movie was very similar to Last Action Hero in that there were many stars and had expensive action.  The movie had many international locations, which did not help the budget.  The director also seemed like he was barely keeping his head above water as the movie was taking forever to film.  The movie was one of the most expensive films of that year and the critics savaged it.  In recent years, the movie has received a strong cult following.

Is it any good?  I don’t like it.  I laughed a few times during the movie.  Willis and Aiello are charming and I sometimes laughed at the crazy situations.  But there are too many winks to the audience, too many in-jokes, and the direction is poor.  The acting from the supporting cast move past ‘so bad its funny’ to annoying.  It’s just not that good.

Re-review:  I still don’t like it.  I hate to use such a juvenile term, but this movie is stupid.  It is like a really stupid cartoon.  And this is not like funny stupid like Freakazoid but painfully unfunny stupid like the current seasons of The Simpsons.  I mean, let me give you a joke as an example.  Hudson runs into the CIA’s four goons who’s names are Snickers, Kit Kat, Almond Joy, and Butterfinger…that’s the joke.  They have candy bar names.  That’s it, and that is the humor for the most part of the movie; shit just happens.  Instead of being funny, this movie is just weird.  Why the hell is Hudson being followed by a pair of twins that look like Rick Astley.  Why is Sandra Bernhard singing “I’ve got the Power” in the middle of a meeting of the bad guys.  Why the fuck is David Caruso in a dress…okay that got a chuckle but it still makes no sense.  Although Frank, Caruso in a dress *puts glasses on* is more erotic than his work in Jade.  YAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!

But going back to the theme of cartoons, the acting is some of the worst histrionics I’ve seen.  There is more mugging in this film than, than, yeah I can’t finish that joke.  There were so many moments of this shitty acting where I just asked to the empty room I watch movies in “Are you freaking kidding me!?”  I mean, who the hell thought this was a good idea or thought it would work for a wide audience.  Not only has Sandra Bernhard permanently killed my erection but injured my funny bone and my sense of pride.  I will give the movie one bit of credit for casting.  Anytime you cast Frank Stallone in a movie for me, you are ok in my book.

Should I even mention the plot of this movie?  Do you ever think Hudson Hawk will have some brilliant Mamet dialog or tight scripting?  There is more consistency and logic in an acid trip.  Just like the humor; sh*t just happens.  We get three different bad guys and double crosses and triple crosses, people die and then come back to life for no reason, etc etc.  There also really isn’t any action in this movie that will keep your interest.  The pitch for this movie was Bruce comes up to the execs and says “You know what people love?  When I make snide comments at bad guys.  Let’s make a movie that is just me giving one liners to bad guys and killing people”  And the execs said “Fine, you can make The Last Boyscout.  Oh, and do this piece of shit Hudson Hawk too.  Roughly the same thing”

But really I just don’t know about this movie.  I chuckle at a few scenes and I still do like the pairing of Aiello and Willis (even though they are not in the movie more than 10 minutes).  It’s just the rest of the movie is so ambitiously bad and it is not funny bad but more like Master of Disguise unfunny.  No, it’s not THAT bad but you get my point.  I really did try to make this movie work for me.  I tried to really have fun with it and roll with the punches.  This movie just pisses me off though.  It is so mind numbingly stupid to think that people would enjoy this turd.  Bah!  It’s not that good?  What was I thinking?  This just sucks.


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