Hudson Hawk is without a doubt one of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s childish, corny, completely ridiculous (even by my standards), and dumb beyond belief. At times, it honestly feels like a teenager wrote and directed it. Hudson Hawk was a box office bomb and critical disaster (it currently sports a 17 on Metacritic), and for good reason. So why in the world did I actually kind of enjoy my time watching Hudson Hawk? It’s not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination but it is so ridiculous and so dumb that it actually works extremely well as a B-movie, which longtime readers of this blog will probably know I love. If it were a bit more consistent (it is extremely funny at times and then will go long stretches without much to riff on), it would be up there with my favorites like many of the films directed Andy Sidaris and Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000 but it’s still a surprisingly fun B-movie anyway.
Note: Hudson Hawk is not a good film and doesn’t deserve even half the rating I gave it if it was being reviewed as a “serious” film. If I was grading it on its “artistic merits,” it would have received, at best, a 1/5. However, as a B-movie it is much better and that is how the film is being reviewed here. Those not into B-movies can ignore my rating and most of this review and should almost certainly skip Hudson Hawk as it is far from a “good” film. Fans of B-movies and riffing should read on though, as Hudson Hawk may very well be worth their time.
Hudson Hawk is a heist comedy film starring Bruce Willis as the titular character, a master cat-burglar who just got out of the joint and wants to go straight. All he wants is a cup of cappuccino (which becomes a running joke) but he can’t go one day out of the clink without multiple groups of people forcing him to perform a series of heists involving Leonardo da Vinci’s artworks and writings. These blackmailers all turn out to be working for one couple, who are trying to reconstruct an invention created by da Vinci that turns lead into gold (with the goal being to take over the world). That’s the main gist of the film though it is almost incomprehensible at times. The plot barely makes any sense at all and pretty much consists of a string of random events and “jokes.”
Hudson Hawk is absolutely not for everybody, even all B-movie fans. It’s very childish and feels almost like a live-action, R-rated Looney Tunes film at times. Even Andy Sidaris films are more realistic and considering that his movies feature crutch guns and baseball grenades, that’s really saying something. It seriously feels like a kids’ film that just happens to be rated R with swearing, blood, and adult humor. It’s so bizarre but also strangely unique and can be funny if you fit into a very specific niche (that I happen to belong to). That niche is adults who still laugh at kids movies because of their “stupid humor” and ridiculous antics. I’m over thirty and am mature enough to enjoy high quality films and TV Shows but sometimes I just like the sheer stupidity of a train-wreck like Hudson Hawk. And boy does Hudson Hawk have stupidity to spare. Humor is extremely subjective and I’m guessing this movie will be extremely polarizing. If ten people buy this movie and watch it, I’m guessing five will turn it off within minutes of starting it, four will get through it but think its one of the dumbest things they’ve ever watched, and the last one will have a great time laughing at the sheer stupidity of it and wonder why everyone else hated it. It takes a certain type of viewer to enjoy a movie like Hudson Hawk, and I just happen to fit into that category. It’s an absolutely terrible movie but one that can be enjoyable to certain audiences.
If you don’t want to be spoiled about some of the wacky hi-jinks that ensue in this film, you should probably skip this paragraph. I do think its necessary to list out some of the bizarre stuff that happens though as I know the humor might be too stupid for even a large amount of B-movie fans. This isn’t a complete list of the absurdities that happen but if you see some things on the following list you think would be funny to riff on, Hudson Hawk is probably for you. This is a movie that features Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello singing show tunes while committing robberies (to keep time when they could easily use a watch instead), a gurney falling out of an ambulance but somehow keeping its speed on the highway and driving through a toll booth (with the character on it somehow throwing change into it in time to avoid crashing into the barricade), and a nun and Vatican agent conversing through a “Crucifix phone.” Yes, Hudson Hawk is that cheesy and ridiculous so if that’s the type of movie you enjoy watching (I personally love this kind of B-movie), you’ll probably enjoy this film. However, I can certainly see this being too childish for some B-movie buffs as well. It’s not for everyone.
This isn’t the first time Hudson Hawk has been released on Blu-ray but it’s being re-released as part of Mill Creek Entertainment’s retro VHS artwork series. It was originally released in 2013 by Mill Creek in a double feature release with Hollywood Homicide. Those who already own that release have no real reason to upgrade unless you really want the slipcover or have been collecting Mill Creek’s retro VHS artwork series. For those who don’t have that release and enjoy the film though, this is a pretty good release visually. I wouldn’t say the movie looks amazing visually but for a nearly thirty year old film, Hudson Hawk looks perfectly fine on Blu-ray. No bonus features are included on this release (they weren’t included on the 2013 release either), which is a bit unfortunate as the DVD releases had a director’s commentary that is supposedly pretty informative (amongst other more minor extras). Also included in this wave of Mill Creek retro VHS artwork releases are No Mercy, Vibes (which I will be reviewing soon as well), and When a Stranger Calls.
I know Hudson Hawk is regarded as one of the worst films ever made and that a lot of viewers will absolutely hate everything about this movie. It’s childish, cheesy, and absolutely ridiculous. That’s a disastrous formula for most but for B-movie fans like me, it’s almost a recipe for success. This is the type of film I like to watch when I don’t want anything too serious and just want some cheap laughs. Sometimes I just want stupidity and things to make fun of in my movies and Hudson Hawk sure has a lot of both of those. The movie does have a surprising amount of fans online, with many of them saying that if it was marketed as a comedy (a sort of Looney Tunes for adults) instead of a Bruce Willis action film, it would have done better at the theaters and with the critics. I somewhat agree though I do think most viewers will roll their eyes at a lot of the corny jokes this film has. Those who don’t enjoy B-movies should absolutely skip Hudson Hawk as it will be at best a below average movie for “serious” viewers. I don’t think all B-movie fans will enjoy it but some will absolutely love it. Not recommended for serious viewers, recommended for some B-movie fans.
Hudson Hawk was released on Blu-ray on February 11, 2020.
Buy Hudson Hawk on Amazon: Blu-ray
We would like to thank Mill Creek Entertainment for the review copy of Hudson Hawk used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.