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Hudson Hawk 1991 ***

Intended by the star as the start of a franchise, Hudson Hawk was seen as a debacle on release, and the name stuck as a label for out-of-control vanity projects. Michael Lehmann’s comedy-adventure certainly puts Bruce Willis centre-stage, playing up his comic talents and ramping up the action to a level that some found ridiculous. But in a CGI world, Hudson Hawk has plenty of lo-fi qualities that make it an endearing watch. Hawk (Willis) and his partner Tommy (Danny Aiello) up against a sinister conglomerate that want to get their hands on Leonardo Da Vinci’s alchemy machine. Hawk, a wily thief, gets in the way; an early scene in which Hawk and Tommy raid a gallery to the tune of Swinging On A Star indicates that plot is less important here than attitude. Willis has since re-invented himself as a tough guy and an excellent actor; Hudson Hawk marks the end of the light-comedy phase that followed on from Moonlighting, and its cheerful chaos is still enjoyable today.


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