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I feel genuine relief that for once you stand before me accused of appreciating a movie that wasn’t made in the eighties. That doesn’t mean that the potential crime is any less heinous—it is up to the prosecution and defence to convince the jury whether or not Hudson Hawk is a guilty pleasure.

Guilty Pleasures: Hudson Hawk


Your honour, I find it unbelievable that the guilty pleasure status of Hudson Hawk is even up for debate. I believe that it is guilty and I also challenge the defence to give us any evidence that there is any pleasure at all to be gained from such a tortuous viewing experience. I lay the blame solely at the feet of one man—Bruce Willis. This was a pet project of his, based on a character he dreamed up before he was famous, back when he was plain ol’ broke-ass Walter Willis. Just because he’d made everyone around him stacks of cash with Moonlighting and Die Hard didn’t mean that everything he touched would turn to gold, but that didn’t occur to the studio who gave him carte blanche to take the movie in any direction his imagination felt like taking him.

Guilty Pleasures: Hudson Hawk
Exhibit A: This coffee lover does his fair share of mugging

The main problem is that short of coming up with a swing-tune lovin’ cappuccino-sippin’ cat-burglin’ scoundrel, he failed to put together the key ingredient needed to commit a movie to film, namely a screenplay. With screenplay changes a daily occurrence during production, all we’re left with is an over-complicated, overblown and incredibly dumb movie that amounts to nothing more than a chain of incredibly contrived set-pieces and Bruce mugging his way through the whole thing (Exhibit A). Due to their relatively brief appearances, I can only assume that pantomime villains Richard E Grant and Sandra Bernhard had most of their scenes cut to spare the audience from their relentless obnoxiousness (Exhibit B).

Guilty Pleasures: Hudson Hawk
Exhibit B: They’re about to take over the world, you know

There is such a complete lack of logic in Hudson Hawk that anyone who is unfortunate enough sit through the movie will find themselves with a bald patch by the end credits because they’ll be scratching their heads the whole way through. Ask yourself why no one else in the bar bats an eyelid when the bad guy shoots Hudson’s coffee cup. Ask yourself why the bad guys have to get Hudson to stick the incredibly easy puzzle thing together. And finally, ask yourself what was going through the heads of Bruce Willis and James Coburn during their Tom-and-Jerry-esque fight sequence.

I implore the jury to find Hudson Hawk guilty. If my reasons above are not enough, I would ask them to come up with another movie with such blatant product placement. Only a movie this stupid would have bad guys named after chocolate bars and include the line ‘will you play Nintendo with me?’ at a key romantic moment, along with two key characters called the Mario brothers. The answer would surely be no, especially if Hudson Hawk was propositioning someone to play the terrible Nintendo game loosely connected the movie (Exhibit C).