Columbia Tristar/1991/100m/ANA1.85. FS 1.33
| Tongue and cheeky action comedies are a
mainstay of mid-brow International movies these days. Hudson Hawk, a miserable
failure in its theatrical release in 1989 would probably receive a much different
reception today. Not to say that this is great filmmaking, but it is often entertaining,
especially the set-up scenes that make up the first third of the film. Yes, the film gets
carried away with its own hipness and the explosions eventually blow up in the filmmakers'
faces, but at least they tried to find another way to action fun.
Bruce Willis plays Hudson Hawk with a quip and a smirk and it usually works. Hawk, a master thief, has been spending the last ten years in Sing Sing(You'll get the joke if you see the movie)and on his release is forced into a plot to steal a couple of priceless artifacts from the Vatican. The significance of these treasures is illuminated by a very entertaining opening sequence depicting Leonardo Da Vinci at work. Hawk's partner in crime and song, Tommy Messina picks him up at the prison gates and they are off and running into an adventure that will culminate in an unlikely flight and a virtual tour of the best sites in Rome.
The story of Hudson Hawk
comes from the lyrics Willis wrote for a song named for a special wind that blows off New
York's Hudson River. How many writers and how many drafts took Hudson Hawk apart is
probably a good question because it is certainly overworked. The core characters of Hawk
and Messina have lots of potential. A lot of the eccentricities work very well. The
constant by-play between Hawk and Tommy referring to Hawk's incredible memory for the
length of recorded songs leads to a cleverly structured sequence.