TV Party Tonight! #85

TV Party Tonight! #85

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Hudson Hawk
(Mill Creek Retro VHS)

I’d like to take you to a time, 1991, when Bruce Willis was the cats pajamas. By then, he had solidified himself as a bona fide action movie star and a blockbuster artist. It seemed like Willis’ presence in a movie would be enough to carry it. So the man had carte blanche. If he fancied himself a musician, he could be one, and the Return of Bruno (his questionable blues covers album) was a big hit. Seeing as he could do no wrong, his passion projects got green lit also, no matter how crazy. That’s how we got Hudson Hawk. It sucked. It sucked real bad. It was universally panned. But, guess what? It was a success, making almost $100 million off its $65 million budget. That’s the kind of star power Bruce Willis had. He could draw anyone to see a movie.

But Hudson Hawk sucks. And it sucks for many reasons and all of them lie in the execution. The idea is not bad. A smoother-than-smooth thief is drawn back into a life of crime by evil millionaires bent on world domination and he has to juggle a cast of wacky characters wile doing so. Sounds fun, right? But the problem with Hudson Hawk is that it can’t find a tone and stick to it. At times it’s a serious action movie, and other times it’s a Looney Toones-esque romp that defies the logic of physics. It’s hard to take a movie seriously that doesn’t want to take itself seriously and apparently has no vetting process when it comes to jokes. Literally everything flies and everyone is left confused. So, Hudson Hawk is an absolute trainwreck to watch just for its sheer big-budget balls. When no one tells Bruce Willis “no,” this is what we end up with.

Of course a movie like this is long out of print, which makes it ideal for Mill Creek’s Retro VHS 90s era action movie series. It fits right in there with the likes of Last Action Hero. It’s barebones, and sadly, has no bonus features, but hey, at least you can get it on glorious blu-ray.

I enjoy Hudson Hawk and recommend you see it. It’s sheer madness and can teach us a lot: you can have all the right ingredients, but if you don’t know how to combine them, you end up with something quite stinky.

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