Retro VHS Collector’s Edition
review by Bobby Blakey
Mill Creek Entertainment continues to bring a variety of older films and TV series to the masses. More recently they have been releasing some of the films under a fun Retro VHS look to the Blu-ray slipcase. The most recent is the 1991 Bruce Willis led film Hudson Hawk co-starring Andie MacDowell, Richard E. Grant, Sandra Bernhard, and the late Danny Aiello and James Coburn. Could this action comedy manage to bring something worth checking out or will it be a crime not worth committing?
Hudson Hawk follows Eddie "The Hawk" Hawkins, the world's most famous cat burglar, who, after 10 years in prison, is ready to go straight. But it's not going to be easy for The Hawk. The mob and the CIA have conspired to blackmail Eddie and his partner (Aiello) into stealing three da Vinci masterpieces from the most heavily-guarded museums in the world. While trying to steal the goods, Hawk falls in love with a beautiful but schizophrenic nun and is relentlessly pursued by the greedy and powerful Minerva and Darwin Mayflower, who want the masterpieces as part of their twisted plot to ruin the world's economy.
I remember seeing this film at the theaters in high school and found it fairly entertaining in its ridiculous nature. Revisiting it for the first time since then not so much. Sure there are some fun moments and I still love that the CIA team use candy bar code names. When they are around its some of the funnier moments of the film, but the balance to the rest of the film is where it struggles the most. It attempts to walk a line between action and comedy, but never fully chooses one. Willis is fine here and looks to be having a great time alongside his real life longtime friend Aiello which is really the only reason this film works at all.
The supporting cast are fine, but I will never understand the appeal of Bernhard as an actor. I remember finding her one woman shows entertaining and thought she
was great on Roseanne, but beyond that just never worked for me. Here the entire group of villains are more cartoons and none of them work, with her sticking out the worst for me. I blame a lot of this on the script itself as they didn’t have much to work with to begin with. This could have been a great caper comedy had it found its balance, but instead it is just silly and sadly misses the mark more often than it hits.
Either way I have no doubt this film has its own following of fans and will make this a must have for those fans especially with the fun VHS style slip cover that gives it that unique look. Grab your copy of Hudson Hawk Retro VHS Collector’s Edition Blu-ray when it hits on February 11th from Mill Creek Entertainment.