Feb 28, 2003
Hudson Hawk (1991) (part 2 of 13)
Fade in on an old leather bound book, while the music is all sparkly and Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders-y. The book opens, and the narration begins. Yes, the narration.
A rule of thumb; if you’re watching a comedy that’s not Monty Python and the Holy Grail and it starts with narration, it’s a good idea to stop the DVD and return it to the store. And then box the ears of the clerk for letting you go home with it.
The high, weathered voice of the narrator is provided by William Conrad (didn’t invest those Jake and the Fatman residuals wisely, now did we?), who seems to be trying his best to sound very Mark Twain-ish. He tells a tale that begins with Leonardo Da Vinci working long ago in Milan (1481, to be exact).
Inside the book, the drawing of a man on a donkey becomes footage of a man riding a donkey through the countryside. The narrator clarifies that this is not Da Vinci, but rather, “The guy on the donkey is just a guy on a donkey.” Oh I get it, it’s funny.
He name-checks the “Sforza”, the famous statue of a horse that was to be the largest bronze statue ever built, but which didn’t see completion until several centuries after Da Vinci’s death. Our narrator explains that war had broken out, making bronze scarce. But undeterred, Da Vinci set out to create a machine that would turn lead into bronze.
The rider approaches the castle, and an explosion from one of the turrets surprises him and knocks him off his donkey. He-a curses-a Da Vinci in a comic-a Eyetalian accent-a, because it’s the comedy.
Leonardo appears in his workshop wearing an obvious fake beard, and I do believe this is also supposed to be funny. I like this. Comedies with easily identifiable jokes mean I don’t have to do any of that strenuous thinking stuff.