Ever wondered what a Three Stooges short would look like with a $40 million budget? Then meet Hudson Hawk, a relentlessly annoying clay duck that crash-lands in a sea of wretched excess and silliness. Those willing to check their brains at the door may find sparse amusement in pic’s frenzied pace.
Bruce Willis plays just-released-from-prison cat burglar Hudson Hawk, who’s immediately drawn into a plot to steal a bunch of Leonardo Da Vinci artifacts by, among others, a twisted billionaire couple (Richard E. Grant, Sandra Bernhard), a twisted CIA agent (James Coburn) and an agent for the Vatican (Andie MacDowell). Mostly, though, Hawk hangs with his pal Tommy (Danny Aiello), as the two croon old tunes to time their escapades.
Director Michael Lehmann, who made his feature debut with the deliciously subversive Heathers, simply seems overwhelmed by the scale and banality of the screenplay [from a story by Willis and Robert Kraft]. Very few of the scenes actually seem connected.
The film primarily gives Willis a chance to toss off poor man’s Moonlighting one-liners in the midst of utter chaos. Grant, Bernhard and Coburn do produce a few bursts of scatological humor based on the sheer energy of their over-the-top performances.