Friday, September 5, 2014

Movie #269: Hudson Hawk

Hudson Hawk is a weird caper/comedy starring Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Andie MacDowell, James Coburn, Richard E. Grant, and Sandra Bernhard.

Eddie "the Hudson Hawk" (Willis) is a great cat burglar who, upon being released from prison, is immediately blackmailed into robbing an auction house with his partner Tommy (Aiello). They steal a statuette of a horse created by Da Vinci, but it turns out the people who wanted it (his, an Italian crime family called the Mario Brothers! No, an English butler with retractable blades in his hands!) really want this nifty crystal inside it.

Hawk meets up with a scholar from the Vatican (MacDowell), but barely has time to flirt before being drugged by an evil CIA agent (Coburn) and whisked off to Rome to rob said Vatican of Da Vinci's Codex (which contains another crystal). Turns out the real masterminds are a pair of industrialists (Grant and Bernhard, chewing scenery so hard you'd think they were starving) who want to recreate Da Vinci's gold machine and flood the market with gold to destroy the world's economy.

The movie is light on plot, but dense on characters. There are a lot of people flitting it, doing things, and then dying, and it can be hard to keep track of the layers, but it's actually pretty comic-booky at the end of the day. And the movie gets sillier and more ridiculous as it goes, to the point where Bernhard flicks Willis' nose and there's a boing sound effect.

This movie bombed at the box office, and it's routinely held up as an example of a crappy movie, but I dunno. I like it. Willis hasn't gotten all dour yet, the supporting cast looks like their having fun, Coburn gets to be badass and threatening (it was remarked, while we watched this movie, that there's no shame in having your ass kicked by James Coburn). I kinda feel like Andie MacDowell is the weak spot, but then I usually do (she was third choice for this role and the other two were European, which would have made a lot more sense). But even so, she gets a few good moments, so overall I think it's fun.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: High

Next up: Fierce Creatures