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Eddie Hawkins, called Hudson Hawk has just been released from ten years of prison and is planning to spend the rest of his life honestly. But then the crazy Mayflower couple blackmail him to steal some of the works of Leonardo da Vinci. If he refuses, they threaten to kill his friend Tommy. Written by
Harald Mayr <email@example.com>
Da Vinci's clay model of the Sforza was destroyed by French soldiers invading Milan in 1499. See more »
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I'm torn on HUDSON HAWK. After watching it, part of me went, "What the hell was that?" But another part suggested that maybe I wasn't hip enough to "get" what it was trying to do. Part of me thought it was a completely ridiculous waste of time. Part of me thought it was just good, clean fun.
Though certainly not for everybody, there are enough redeeming qualities in HUDSON HAWK to avert its dismissal as a multimillion-dollar turkey. Bruce Willis is Eddie "Hudson Hawk" Hawkins, a cat burglar intent on retiring but who is forced to steal Da Vinci works of art for a (gasp!) world domination plot. Along for the ride are Tommy Five-Tone (Danny Aiello), mysterious nun Anna Baragli (Andie MacDowell) and conniving bad guy George Kaplan (recognize that name?) played by the late James Coburn.
The plot sounds like it could have made for a good DIE HARD-style caper, but director Michael Lehmann had other ideas. As he reveals in the DVD version's audio commentary, HUDSON HAWK was meant first and foremost as a comedy. Trouble is, it was promoted more as a Bruce Willis action blockbuster. Audiences were left scratching their heads as their favorite tough guy engaged in Stooge-like slapstick, sipped cappuccino and, most astoundingly, crooning Crosby classics.
Not that mistaken expectations are the only thing wrong here. Indeed HUDSON HAWK is simply too silly for its own good. The gags frequently fall flat, nearly embarrassing the talented performers involved. The plot is overly convoluted, and Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard as the villainous Mayflowers are a bit hard to take. At its lowest points, you'll be astounded something like this could receive a theatrical release.
To get the most out of HUDSON HAWK, go in with an open mind. It's unlike anything you've seen before -- in both good and bad ways.
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