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Hudson Hawk
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Hudson Hawk More at IMDbPro »

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94 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

not nearly as bad as you would think

Author: dtucker86 from Germany
20 October 2001

This was one of the first films that I saw when I came back from the Persian Gulf War. It is listed as among the biggest money losers of all time and when it came out it generated some of the most scathing reviews of all time. When Bruce Willis made The Last Boy Scout later that year, one reviewer said "He gets punched in the mouth so many times, he must feel like he's still reading reviews of Hudson Hawk" Willis wrote the story for this film, so I'm sure this must have particularly hurt him, this film put his career in the toilet before Pulp Fiction revived it. I don't think the film was all that bad myself, even though it wasn't Citizen Kane and wont go down in history as a classic I am at least hoping that it might generate a cult following. At least it attempts to be original, you have to give it credit for that. So many movies these days are just rip offs. Willis gives an engaging performance as the cappachino-drinking, wise-cracking cat burglar who is forced to pull off one last hiest. I really laughed at the scene where he and Danny Aiello pull off that robbery while doing such a wonderful rendition of "Would You Like To Swing On A Star". Aiello is a great actor as is Andie McDowell and James Coburn who also give great supporting performances. Coburn has a lot of fun spoofing his tough guy image. It sort of reminds me of In Like Flynt. My best advice is leave your brain at the beginning of the movie and just have a good time. Yes this film wont cure cancer or anything like that, but its still a lot of fun if you just give it a chance.

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77 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

You will either groove on its knowing brand of low comic silliness or you'll hate it

10/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
13 August 2005

Just sprung from prison Hudson Hawk finds himself being chased by an insane and insanely rich couple, the CIA and the Vatican in a mad chase to get bits of a gold making machine made by Da Vinci. Along the way stupid jokes are told, the plot is ignored or twisted in the name of a joke and the entire cast winks at the audience repeatedly as if to say that even they can't believe the silly things they are doing in the name of fun.

When this movie opened it was crucified by critics across the country as an unfunny vanity project. It sunk the promising career of the director and made people take a second look at Bruce Willis. very few people braved the reviews and saw this in theaters. Me? I'm one of the six people in America that went to see this on opening night. I've loved this movie from the first and my opinion has grown with each viewing. I remember arguing with people for weeks afterward that they should see this movie because it was damn funny. No one listened to me, and it wasn't until cable and home video that people discovered this wrongly dismissed gem. This is more proof that sometimes critics don't get it.

Then again all humor is subjective and what one person finds funny is not what other people find funny. I love this knowingly dumb, puny, go for the obvious, nothing is sacred or too stupid to try collection of jokes and gags. Other people are offended or utterly bored by its often infantile antics. I find it charming and harmless, other people find it cruel (Bunny Ball Ball!). I can't say which camp you'll fall into, but I think that you should ignore the critics and just see this movie. Its mindless fun of the highest order.

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74 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

A comedy classic? Maybe. It's still really good.

8/10
Author: redmenace-2 from United States
22 December 2005

When I was in High School, I was working at a movie theater. One day at work, the theater was giving away movie promotional extras left over from years past to the employees. One of the items was a promotional T-Shirt for Hudson Hawk. Being a fan of Bruce Willis and a fan of t-shirts, I picked it up. I also decided that if I was going to wear the shirt, I might as well see the movie.

I had heard the rumors: bad bad Bruce Willis vanity project, not worth a damn, much less a rental. Well, that sounded like a challenge to me! So, I rented it, popped it into my VCR and prepared to be in agony. I was very disappointed.

I was stunned at not only how madcap it was, but how well written it was. Sure, it felt like an excuse to rattle off witty one-liners amongst a non-sensical plot, but it did it so WELL. Some of my favorite lines from any movie are in this film.

"How long (were in you prison)?" "Let's just say I never saw E.T."

Some of the references are very early-mid 90s, as to be expected. Still, there's some great, wacky characters, and it's just a good stupid caper movie. Don't listen to the critics - this one is definitely a great film to watch with a group of friends.

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57 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

You could be better than you are

8/10
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
4 April 1999

In May of 1991 the world was just not ready for Hudson Hawk, and apparently this caused a lot of confusion in the marketing department. How on Earth were they supposed to sell this strange oddity of a film? Eventually they settled on Bruce Willis brand recognition and built an ad campaign that would promote it as a sort of Die Hard-lite. When audiences eventually found out it was an absurdist, cartoon caper comedy they didn't quite know what to make of it and it was widely panned by critics and filmgoers alike. Not fair. Hudson Hawk is actually a wonderful little movie with a reputation is simply doesn't deserve.

By the time July of 1991 rolled around the movie was getting its UK premier and the ad campaign had changed to play up the comedy and adventure more than the action. I remember 10-year-old me (already a Die Hard and Willis fan) sitting alone in a screen at the old UCI cinema in Kinnaird Park thinking "this looks awesome". If a kid could tell the difference...

Being a 15-rating here in the UK (and rated R in the US) I had to wait until it hit home video. As soon as the end credits rolled I was fascinated by this new Cappuccino thing that Hawk was always harping on about. It became my go-to beverage whenever and wherever it was being served (an idiosyncrasy that has since been ruined by the horrific advent of "fashionable coffee"). As you can tell, I've been a fan of Hudson Hawk since I was a kid.

Bruce Willis is Eddie Hawkins, the world's greatest cat-burglar, who is determined to go straight after a long stretch in prison. Too bad for him that an assortment of eccentric villains are determined to force him to do their dirty work in a crazy world domination plot. Take the usual tropes of James Bond, Crosby and Hope, the Pink Panther, and retro heist movies and you'll have something close to what Hudson Hawk attempts to be. It is handsomely shot in real European locations with lots of quotable dialogue courtesy of Daniel Waters who co-wrote the script with Die Hard scribe Steven E. De Souza, based on Willis' original ideas. Yes, Bruce Willis created Hudson Hawk himself.

The movie is far from perfect though, even the biggest Hudson Hawk fans know that. It is way too complicated and will take several viewings just to fully grasp what the hell is going on. However, even in 1991 it seemed that De Souza and Waters knew that the European Union and forthcoming "single currency market" would be a terrible idea. The plot to ruin the world economy would probably be lauded in these more politically turbulent times.

Also,the literal bookends are an indulgence too far, and Andie McDowell (a last minute replacement for Isabella Rossellini and Maruschka Detmers) is just about tolerable in a role that she clearly didn't understand. The scene where she feigns mental illness by speaking in Dolphin-ish is yet another eccentricity that the film could have done without. But the main fault here is the swearing. The cast are dropping f-bombs and mofos all over the place and it just doesn't sit well the overall tone. There is absolutely no reason why Hudson Hawk should have been anything more than a PG. When I was 10-years-old I was overdosing on episodes of The Young Ones (a similarly anarchic and crazy TV show) and this movie really appealed to me. I do believe that kids and family audiences were the people that Hudson Hawk should have been sold to and the R-rating harmed the films appeal a lot.

McDowell aside, the cast are all either wonderfully over-the-top or strangely quirky. From James Coburn's enthusiastic CIA crook, to a restrained David Caruso as the mute Kit Kat. He doesn't even have any lines and he has a character arc. If you are in need of light- hearted, good-natured entertainment then Hudson Hawk never fails. It is a real shame that this never had the chance to develop into a franchise. If so we might have been spared the awfulness of Die Hard 4 and 5.

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55 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

Much Better than Rumored...

7/10
Author: Gislef from Iowa City, IA
1 October 1998

A movie that I've never understood the critics' response against. Yes, it's primarily a Bruce Willis ego-trip. Who cares? It's a _fun_ Bruce Willis ego-trip. He smirks, smartmouths, struts, sings, and strides through every scene. But he still doesn't manage to steal the thunder of Danny Aiello, James Coburn and his band of covert agents, and Sandra Bernhard and Richard Grant in a truly bizarre series of sequences as eccentric (to put it mildly) billionaires. Andie MacDowell doesn't make much of a romantic lead, but even she gets a goofball sequence when she starts speaking in Dolphin-ish.

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57 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

I laugh, I cry every time

9/10
Author: mattspammail from Houston, TX
16 February 2005

I have watched this flick at least 30 times. I can recite it almost verbatim.

I also realize that I am relatively alone in my feelings for this movie. My wife reminds me of that all the time.

The humor in this flick probably doesn't appeal to most people, because they like to be spoon-fed humor. Slapstick and punny humor is far too refined for most.

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for (this movie).

P.S. The director's commentary on the DVD is great if you're a fan of the film.

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35 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

What The...

6/10
Author: jonathon_naylor from Manitoba, Canada
6 June 2006

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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33 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

This movie is a blast!

7/10
Author: Peach-2 from Netherlands
28 October 1998

Hudson Hawk has cult movie written all over it. Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello have a blast making robberies while singing show tunes. It put me in the spirit of the movie and I enjoyed myself. Everybody in the cast overacts but that didn't bother me at all. This is the kind of movie that after years pass will be considered a cult classic. Check out Hudson Hawk if you want to have a good time. Because like all the best films, you have to suspend your belief in reality to make it work and this movie is fantasy on a whole new level.

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41 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Campy Humor at its best!!

8/10
Author: Elswet from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
26 August 2003

This movie was supposed to be a big blockbuster hit. but it ended up as almost the end to Bruce Willis's career. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. The whole world likes Willis's acting, action and the characters he portrays.

Although this movie was recently rated among the 10 worst movies of all time at MSN, I found it quite refreshing, interestingly funny and downright campy. I laugh every time I see the movie. how many movies can you say that about?

"Bunny! Ball Ball!" Just precious.

The storyline is as follows. A Dominatrix (Sandra Bernhard) and her megalomaniac husband (Richard E Grant) are setting in motion a plot to take over the world. Willis's character, Eddie Hawkins, is the only person who can stop them.

The plot is a classic and the laughs just keep coming. Complete with Andie McDowell as Hawkins's love interest, this movie is very entertaining.

What other movie has "the guy on the donkey" listed in its credits?

This movie rates a 7.9/10 from...

the Fiend :.

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31 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Microwave Sushi

6/10
Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
11 December 2001

This movie was on my list of movies generated by actors as personal projects. That's because you really get to know these guys when you see what they really want to do. Bruce worked on this for a very long time.

If you check out Willis' acting stuff, it is a particular style, very much like Mel Gibson's. The idea is to focus on the character in a serious way, but always let the audience know that there is a carefree guy doing it. The formula is subtle and depends on the genuine take on life that the actor has.

If you allow for the incompetent editing and execrable score, this is a very clever movie. In particular, it is a very clever placement of a movie about other movies. It walks through the various motions of a real movie, with lots of references to remind you. But it is really a bunch of jokes that make the broadest fun of movies. The position and distance that this film has to real movies is precisely the same as Bruce's acting stance to the job he does in portraying the character.

Check it out. It's got some problems, but it tells you a lot about Bruce in whatever of his other films you like, and will likely enhance that film.

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