Hudson Hawk (1991)

I Love Hudson Hawk

October, 1997

Hudson Hawk is the film that inspired this site. I missed it in the theaters because I wasn’t interested in seeing yet another action-comedy with Bruce Willis. The rotten reviews and the ubiquitous bus billboards in Boston did not help either. And yet i wondered about it – was it really that bad of a movie? why did so many people hate it? was it maybe a movie so bad that was good? And so in 1993, I rented it. And it changed my life.


Okay, not really. But it did blow me away. It was hilarious! The complex plotting and secret groups made it an assassin game on celluloid. The premise, characters, and events were all wonderfully implausible in the real world. Indeed, everything in the movie is so over the top, it feels like a superhero comic book: the superrich supercouple Darwin and Minerva Mayflower (who are the bastard children of Donald Trump and Bill Gates); Tommy Five-Tone as the ultimate useless sidekick, complete with a cool death scene; the flahsbacks to Leonardo da Vinci’s laboratory; a group of assassins named after sexually transmitted diseases; and glowing crucifixes. The film gets wackier with each plot twist. It is a modern screwball comedy with a few action elements (explosions, hitmen) thrown in for good measure.

Everyone in the film seems to be having a good time, even stony Andie MacDowell. For the most part, Bruce Willis is the straight man for the energetic hi-jinx of the supporting players, especially Sandra Bernhard and Richard E. Grant. David Caruso’s performance as a mute operative also stands out. Despite the explosions and various hitmen, this film is actually a comedy.

I have had a hard time convincing my friends to see this movie. And yet the few who have watched it have enjoyed it. So forget the rumors, rent the movie, and enjoy the romp!

Who

Bruce Willis, lead actor
Sandra Bernhard, Richard E. Grant, Lorraine Toussaint, and David Caruso, scene stealers extraordinaire.

What

A cat burglar known as the Hudson Hawk tries to go straight. The Mafia, CIA, and the Pope, among others, are all after him to steal various objects which once belonged to Leonardo da Vinci.

Why

Because it is really a screwball comedy with a little action. Because Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello sing. Because it has an intricate and outrageous plot. Because Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard play the power couple from hell. Because it mixes the mafia, thieves, the CIA, and Leonardo da Vinci in a compelling manner. Because Andie Macdowell talks via glowing crucifix intercoms in the bowels of the Vatican. Because it is hilarious.

IMDB entry

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One response to “Hudson Hawk (1991)

  1. I loved this movie too! I saw it on TV in Japan I think, like 10 years ago, and was shocked to discover that it’s supposed to be some kind of Waterworld-level disaster. Psh. It’s totally fun.

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