Monday, January 17, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Hudson Hawk (1991)

"Yeah, you look great- you look like fuckin...Zorro."- Tommy Tutone

"You New York Italian, father-made-twenty-bucks-a-week son of a bitch."- Darwin Mayflower

"They had the worst ketchup when I was in prison."- Hudson Hawk

You can file this one in the "one of my favorites growing up" section as well. I may have went to the movies by myself to see this one. But as soon as it came out of VHS, I purchased my own copy. I remember specifically laying out of school feigning sickness to watch and rewatch this and PCU. I also remember reading how bad everyone thought this was. Die Hard 2 I think it was, maybe 1, but I'm thinking 2 had come out the year before maybe, and so this was billed as an action movie to pull in the same crowd, but most were disappointed because this was a straight up comedy caper. Action fans were pissed. Tri-Star were in dire straits, and ended up losing so much money on this that they had to merge with Columbia. But the fucked up thing is, it was a great flick. Don't believe the bullshit press. I mean, I'd probably praise it here anyway if I thought it was horrible, but there was something truly unique about this picture. Besides the amazing cast, it had these weird shots of 3 Stooges inspired slapstick, and really sort of poked fun at itself. If you're familiar with the movie, you can see why the fans were so perturbed at what they got just by watching the trailer. It hints that its funny with a few Willis one-liners, but i guess Die Hard fans weren't ready for full blown plot devices and running gags. Fuck them anyway. Here we have James Coburn (!), Richard Grant, Sandra Bernhardt, David Caruso, Andie Macdowell, Danny Aiello, and motherfuckin Bruce Willis in HUDSON HAWK!!!

So this is the story of Eddie "Hudson" Hawk, a very successful cat burglar. The flick starts out with a narrator explaining that Da Vinci made a device that could turn lead into gold. Then he hid the pieces of crystal that was the pinnacle of his machine in different pieces of his artwork all over the world. Fast forward to the 1990s, and ol Hudson Hawk is just getting out of SingSing on a 10 year bid. The very day he is getting out, his parole officer offers him a job stealing something. He says no. His old thief buddy Tommy Tutone (Aiello) picks him up and brings him the only thing he wants after getting out- a cappuccino. He slams on the brakes spilling it on Hawk. Then Tommy takes him to the bar they own together. While Hawk was in jail it turned all foo foo much to Hawk's distaste. He tries again to get a cappuccino and is again foiled (this begins a running gag throughout the film). The "Mario" Brothers (one of who is Frank {brother of Sly} Stallone) come to try and muscle and/or blackmail Hawk into doing the job previously spoken about. They represent someone who wants one of Da Vinci's pieces stolen from an auction house.

Hawk eventually caves and goes to steal the piece. Hawk and Tommy have a strange way of keeping time in that they quiz each other on the lengths of classic songs and then sing them so that they know when they are supposed to be out of there and the job is supposed to be over. Hawk then begins an adventure getting caught up stealing the Da Vinci pieces only to have them smashed in front of him to collect the puzzle pieces of the crystal. Along the way he has encounters with the CIA man who framed him and sent him to jail in the first place (Coburn) and his "MTV-IA" operatives Snickers, Kit-Kat, Almond Joy, and Butterfingers. They beat the shit out of Hawk on several occasions including knocking him out and flying him to Rome.

Hawk also encounters an art expert/vatican operative/nun (MacDowell) who ends up being his love interest. He first meets her at the auction house then again when trying to steal Da Vinci's codex. Then we meet the Mayflowers. "What can I tell you? I'm the villain." Darwin and Minerva are played wonderfully by Grant and Bernhardt. Sandra Bernhardt is such an awesome bitch!

There is a ton a action in the flick as well. The ambulance scene is one of my favorites. Hawk picks up a tray of needles and smashes them into one of the Mario brother's faces and he's screaming, Hawk rolls out the back on a gurney hauling ass down the highway, somehow lights a smoke... its pretty nuts. In the end you have lots of back and forth, lots of fights, lots of who's got the upper hand now?, lots of fake deaths, and real deaths, and loads of one-liners, some great, and some not so great. The end is pretty good, and I'd say over all, more awesome than bad. On netflix instant now. check it out if you never have. Essential viewing. Also, Andie MacDowell talking like a fucking dolphin. worth it.

1 comment:

  1. still have this on VHS!! willis has the coolest superpower in this one..... he remembers every sinatra song ever... its like watching the rat pack rob a museum