Jul 18, 2016
Hudson Hawk (1991) (part 9 of 13)
So we’re in the museum now, and Hawk spots a guard. Yep, just the one, and he’s not even in shape, either. He’s tubby at best, and just plain walrus-like at worst. Good to know the Vatican has its priorities in order.
Now Hawk can spring into action, unleashing all the tricks of his trade. Tricks like… taking a mirror off a wall. And… using a spray can to reveal those pesky, alarm-raising lasers. Then he… uh… well…
You know, I have absolutely no idea how Hawk’s plan for stealing the Codex works. The movie keeps showing me all of these little details as if they all add up to something, but frankly, I’m bewildered.
My level of comprehension isn’t helped by how darkly lit this scene is, with shadows obscuring almost the entire action. Sure, I could tell Hawk was pouring olive oil onto the floor at one point, and at another point he stared at a light reflecting off the mirror, but what does all of it mean? Perhaps someone out there has a keen enough mind to explain it all, but at this moment in time, that someone is not me.
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Cut to a man pouring spaghetti out of a thermos (ugh) and onto a plate. We pull back to see this Portable Pasta Person is another guard, and he’s having a nice chat with the larger guard we saw earlier. They’re not speaking English, so I have to assume Tubby says he’s going to make one more sweep of the museum while Prego stays behind and enjoys his meal.
Meanwhile, Hawk has melted the glass case surrounding the Codex and is just about to move onto the next step. Suddenly, he notices the blue wire Kit Kat warned him about. But what does the blue wire do, anyway? And why am I supposed to be entertained by this perplexing mess? Argh! Alright, Jonathon, calm down, just keep moving, and everything will be over soon enough.
Hawk’s thievery is interrupted when he hears Tubby’s walkie-talkie, so he slips away just as the guard notices the missing mirror. This sends the utterly useless guard into a tizzy, and he bounds over to check on the Codex, only to become even more horrified when he sees all of Hawk’s equipment scattered around the museum.
He calls for backup, but a whistle from above stops him in his tracks. Tubby looks up to see a smug Hawk, who yanks on a fishing wire connected to the Codex. This sends the Codex flying upward, which activates the security system. Poor Tubby is then trapped inside the giant chandelier cages while the Crazy White Knock-Out Gas asphyxiates his lungs.
By this point, Prego has arrived on the scene, but Hawk’s already making his escape through a window in the ceiling. He smashes the window by throwing a baseball at it [?], and with his grapple, our really-not-very-courageous hero reaches the roof, while Prego follows. What follows is a boring chase across the rooftops with only one real genuine highlight: the five second joke involving the Pope. Well, the recently departed Pope, at any rate.
See, as Hawk sprints across a roof, he drops the bag containing the Codex. It almost falls off the building, but luckily catches on a rod. Hawk dives after the bag, grabbing hold of a TV antenna for support. Inside, we see a television playing Mister Ed in Italian, but the TV is losing its signal. And watching this show is the Pope, of course, of course, and he’s none too happy.
Grumbling like a petulant child, he gets up and begins to whack the TV with his magic Pope Cane, a moment I must admit was bizarrely amusing. I do find it odd how the Pope is dressed in full church attire this late at night, and I have no idea why his robe says “Notre Dame” across the back, but life is too short to pontificate (hah!) over the man’s wardrobe.
More running, more running, more running… I fell asleep at some point… more running, okay, and finally something’s happening. Hawk makes a zip line out of his grapple and starts, well, zipping from one building to the next. But the rope is shot by a keen-eyed Prego and Hawk falls, landing in a sitting position directly on a street lamp. Right. That could happen. Hawk then falls off the lamp and onto a truck filled with chickens. Uh-huh. You can tell I’m bored when this kind of stupidity doesn’t even faze me.
The truck rounds a corner, Hawk jumps out and…
…drops into the next scene, which is his dinner date with Anna. You know, the first time this time-jumping device was used, it was clever, and only minimally so, but this go-round is just annoying, especially when Hawk coughs up chicken feathers like a Looney Tunes character. We get it, movie, you’re a zany action comedy. Calm down, already.
A waiter approaches the table and Hawk orders a fancy Italian meal, and in a “funny” bit he also asks for a bottle of ketchup. The high-falutin’ waiter is thoroughly flustered by this outrageous demand, so score one for Hawk against the Man!
As the camera follows the waiter, he passes the Candy Bar Brigade at another table, where Butterfinger is trying desperately to order a steak burger and French fries. I’d venture to guess they’re spying on Hawk, but such a venture would probably drain me of any energy I have left after watching the last ten minutes of this garbage.
Mr. Snippy Waiter returns to Hawk’s table, and for some reason he’s brought the ketchup in a bucket of ice. Maybe he’s trying to be patronizing or something. You know how snippy waiters can be when they’re dealing with condiments.
As Hawk pours it on, he makes a passing mention of how the ketchup in prison tasted terrible. He winces at his obvious error in letting this info slip out on the first date, but Anna doesn’t seem too bothered by it.
In fact, she says, it excites her, since she kind of has “a thing for sinners.” Once again, Andie MacDowell is the least sexy woman I’ve ever seen on camera, delivering her lines with all the passion and heat of a dying jellyfish. Something tells me another young actress, any other actress, could have played this role and improved the film immensely. Alas, we are stuck with this dull piece of driftwood.
Let’s jump ahead to her apartment, shall we? Hawk is getting his shirtless, greased back rubbed by Anna. She sees a hawk tattoo on his shoulder, which inevitably leads to Hawk explaining how he got his name. See, “hawk” is a slang term for the cold wind that blows in the wintertime, and he lived near the Hudson River, so… Hudson Hawk.
I get the second part, but what does cold winter wind have to do with this guy? Wouldn’t it have been better if people called him “Hawk” for his ability to, I don’t know, fly in and out of buildings? Ah, but that would have made sense, and we can’t have that.
This is obviously the big seduction scene, and what would a seduction scene be without a little kissy-kissy? Hawk goes up to bat for the second time, and is just about to get some sizzling lip-to-cheek action, but… Anna runs to the other side of the room. Ooh, strike two. She claims it’s “been a long time for [her],” and Hawk says it’s been a long time for him, too. Well, yeah. That’s for sure.
He walks over to Anna, goes in for yet another kiss, and whispers, “I’m not sure if I remember how to kiss girls… not that I ever kissed guys.” What kind of a line is that? Would any woman fall for that? Well, I guess Anna would, as they proceed to make out.
The spit-swapping is put on hold when one of those glowing Jesus figurines starts blinking. An alarm sounds and we hear the panicked voice of the Cardinal. Anna says that the Vatican has just been robbed.
She trots across the room, and in what has to be one of the stagiest bits of blocking ever, she just so happens to knock Hudson’s backpack to the ground so the Codex can neatly fall out. If the priceless artifact you just stole, and the person who’s supposed to keep said artifact safe were in the same room, wouldn’t you be a just a wee bit more cautious? Along the lines of, say, zipping up the bag you put it in? I’d like to think I would.
Anna is, of course, thoroughly upset over this development, as well as shocked by how easily Hawk stole the Codex. Look, lady; Stop acting as if the Vatican is some impenetrable fortress. Hawk literally snuck himself in by hiding in an unsealed cardboard box, for the love of God! Your security stinks!
Outside the apartment building, the Candy Bar Brigade is sitting impatiently in a car. It’s a tiny convertible, and Butterfinger can barely fit in the back seat, ha ha. Almond Joy wonders what’s taking so long, prompting Butterfinger to ask, and I swear on my mother’s grave this is the exact quote…
Butterfinger: Want me to rape ‘em?
Um… um… What?!? How in the world did anyone consider that line appropriate or funny? It’s just repulsive! Nothing could possibly be more offensively out of left field. Writing this kind of dialogue and actually putting it on film should be an offense punishable by a good old-fashioned Korean caning.
This stomach-churning line is met with eye rolling from the other Candy Bar agents, who tell Butterfinger to read Green Eggs and Ham so he’ll shut up. Yeah, because the threat of rape is hilarious when it’s coming from a childlike dummy, right?
Back inside Anna’s apartment (this has been the longest fifteen minutes of my life, by the way [Why does everybody keep saying that? —Albert]), Anna hands Hawk a cappuccino as she explains how she’s been tracking the Mayflowers for some time now. She was under orders not to reveal that the horse statue was a fake, in case any of you attentive readers were wondering why she declared it authentic back at the auction.
Hawk absorbs this information, and then takes a sip of the cappuccino. And as it turns out, it’s been drugged by the wily Anna, and Hawk collapses to the floor. And thus continues the wacky misfortunes of Hudson Hawk on his endless quest for a cappuccino. Actually, he did get to sip the cappuccino this time around, but since it was drugged, I guess it doesn’t count.
Just then, the Candy Bar Brigade immediately makes a big entrance, breaking the door down. Anna asks them why they didn’t tell her back at the restaurant that the Codex had been stolen, and then she demands to see Kaplan.
Wait… am I done? Holy crap, I’m done! Have fun with the rest of this movie, suckers! I’m gonna go wash my memories of this movie right out of my brain.