Hudson Hawk

The two types of people that make lists

There are two kinds of people: people who love Hudson Hawk, and people who haven't seen it.
Reported on 21st of September, 2015

Hudson Hawk is summed up very simply: there are people who love it, and people who haven’t seen it. I have said this already apparently. It is a baffling, nutty, dense and inexplicable combination of the work of post-Heathers Mr. Daniel Waters/Mr. Michael Lehmann, and a post-Die Hard Mr. Bruce Willis, and well, his cousin. Half-vanity project, half-parody and all massive budget flop, it is a heist-musical-action-historical-art-comedy like you have never seen. It is full of stupid jokes, but it is full of them. It also contains moments (such as Mr. David Caruso’s turn as the mute Kit-Kat, and Mr. Richard Grant’s career apex performance), that are unique in the way that people mean when they say ‘really unique’.

Hudson Hawk

24 May 1991 @ The Hollywood Pacific 3

$41.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Fine. I had to fake the ticket. You probably guessed that because it's theater 1, and I saw it in theater 3. Also, it's pretty fake. In its (but not my) defense, it is from Robocop 3 original, and from the Hollywood Pacific, when it was still open.

Fine. I had to fake the ticket. You probably guessed that because it’s theater 1, and I saw it in theater 3. Also, it’s pretty fake. In its (but not my) defense, the pieces are from a Robocop 3 original, and the ticket is a gen-u-ine Hollywood Pacific beauty, when it was still open and ready to kill its audience with falling concrete.

I think this may be the first multiple genre film I saw, and not via the intentional home-made Godardian method, but by way of massive ego scrambling after its own justifications. I remember reading that Mr. Willis, now comfortable with his pate, required that all the overhead shots that showed his thinning scalp were to be excised or airbrushed, and it is in this spirit that I recommend it. This may seem disingenuous, but the multiplicitous motives and counter-motives create the kind of communal automatic writing that is Hudson Hawk. Critics are always looking for the new, but they also want intent so that they can single someone out (and themselves for noticing, and myself for noticing that). Hudson Hawk is the product of so many sensibilities that it remains truly unlike other films.

Now, I like having my jaw dropped, and you may not. But there are some straight up solid bits as well. The introduction of real Mona Lisa is as great as the opening narration is terrible. This unevenness is the spirit of the film. My advice is simple: stick with the first ten minutes. You’ll be struggling, as I was in theater 3 of the Hollywood Pacific theater, the dingy off-angle conversion that was originally half a balcony of a regular theater, and one of the smallest venues in all of Hollywood at the time. Tri-Star did not have high hopes for the film’s success. During these minutes, ‘What’, you’ll be saying, ‘the fuck’, you’ll swear out loud, ‘is it that I’m watching?’ At minute ten, they dogpile the final genre on. When it happens, you’ll know. Your mouth will be open, either smiling or gaping. You won’t need my encouragement any more.

Only for those who have seen it. This is my version of a Rocky Horror midnight screening. If you know, then you know.
The fact that, for years afterwards, I carried around ‘This is not a dream’ business cards. Just in case.
Air bags.
And, of course, please forgive my dry British wit.
The remainder.
Total Profits
It is, of course, terrible.
Total Losses


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