I’m going to be very upfront about the fact that you might hate my Pick this week. It’s one of the most famous flops of the 1990s and admittedly the height of a star’s ego run amuck. As of this writing, it has a woeful 24% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Still, I like this movie.
I’m speaking, of course, of 1991’s Hudson Hawk, starring and conceived by Bruce Willis. The movie is basically an action comedy/heist film about a burglar who, shortly after being released from prison, is strong-armed into pulling a series of jobs. Willis plays the titular Hudson Hawk (aka Eddie Hawkins), and his long time partner-in-crime, Tommy Five-Tone is played by Danny Aiello.
That set up sounds fairly straightforward; however, things quickly take a turn for the weird. It’s a little odd, but charmingly so, that Eddie and Tommy time their heists based on various songs, which they sing as they go. Before long, the pair are whisked off to Rome (involuntarily) and come face-to-face (Well, faces-to-faces, really) with their employers, Darwin and Minerva Mayflower, played by Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard in what may be the most over-the-top performances I’ve ever seen in a movie. They aren’t chewing the scenery. They are ripping it apart with their teeth and swallowing it in monstrous gulps.
There are also secret agents, both from the CIA and the Vatican (Yes, the Vatican), plans for world domination, and lots of opportunities for Willis to be an overly-smug smart-ass. I know it doesn’t rank among Willis’ best, but it’s fun, dammit! That has to count for something.
- Alan Decker
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