Rotten Tomatoes Freshness Meter
Critics – 22%
Audience – 54%
What You Should Know
This movie is a comedy. Not in the way “Up in The Air” is a comedy where most of the film tries to be serious and realistic and sad. This is a wacky, screwball comedy that pokes fun at caper films while also being a caper film. This film belongs to the same category as “Arsenic and Old Lace”, “Bringing Up Baby” or “Austin Powers”. It’s not really a spoof film as much as comedic version of a caper or heist film. Hudson Hawk is light and fun and isn’t meant to be taken seriously or to be anything more than an entertainment.
Why You Should Reconsider
The film has an amazing cast, an unusual story and it is interesting. Much like any broad comedy most viewers are going to find some of the jokes and gags hit home while others do nothing for them. Is this a bad thing? Bruce Willis plays against his image in Hudson Hawk. He’s goofy and odd. Andie MacDowell secretly works for The Vatican. The movie is quirky and has bits that are meant to playful or silly rather than make sense.
Viewers should reconsider watching this film because it belongs to a category of films that often is mistreated. Earlier I mentioned “Up in The Air” and my intention was not to slight the film. “Up in The Air” is a film that fits into several categories, one of which is comedy. A film like “Hudson Hawk” belongs only to this category and audiences now have a difficult time accepting works that do this as being of the same quality as those belonging to multiple categories. These single category films are often quite wonderful and are more rewarding once you, the viewer, accept the fact that they aren’t trying to offer every emotion and experience a movie can. A film like Hudson Hawk is trying to make you laugh. It is trying to entertain you. You should reconsider this movie because quite possibly you were the only thing standing in your way when it came to enjoyment.
Most critics seem to think the film has little worth and was merely a vanity film for Mr. Willis. These are undoubtedly the same people who would never consider a comedy for a best picture award or who think sentimentality does not apply to topics like drug addiction, death and any severe trauma being inflicted on children in films (to see how I am defining sentimentality see this post). In short most seem to dismiss this film for the very reason why it exists: it’s fun.
I would imagine many went into this film expecting a movie grounded in reality, where the fight scenes and explosions and even the story attempted to walk some kind of line between the fantastic and ordinary. With that approach I would imagine most would be very disappointed. The movie is a departure for Mr. Willis and I would think most of his fans would find it a welcome one. As with most movies of this kind what is required of the audience is a bit of allowance for error, an understanding that a comedy of this sort isn’t about every joke being perfect or every performance being nuanced. I find this type of comedy to be reminiscent of films from childhood, where the overall experience is more important than any particular part.