COLUMBIA PICTURES/TRI STAR PICTURES / SILVER PICTURES 1991
TREVOR THE CHARACTERS Eddie “Hudson Hawk” Hawkins: Bruce Willis
Retired cat burglar forced back into the game by his parole officer, the local mob guys and a CIA group led by an agent with an Alfred Hitchcock character name threatening him and his friend when all he wants is a cappuccino and a game of Nintendo. Looking to find a nice girl to settle down with but all he can find is nun.
Dr Anna Baragli: Andie McDowell
Gorgeous, intelligent, talented art expert from the Vatican who falls in love with Hawk but has an awkward secret which is Veiled from us and no matter how Holy we are or may be, we cannot See it. Tommy “Five Tone” Messina: Danny Aiello
Hawk’s rotund, hard-of-hearing friend whose involvement in scams brings Hawk out of retirement. Has an exploding espresso machine in his bar, great wine in his cellar (so good, it knocks people out) and a liking for Heinz tomato sauce. Good singer. Punched, insulted, shot at and fried. George Kaplan: James CoburnIn Like Flint
CIA agent ~ with a name stolen from Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest
~ who longs for the days of Communism when people were scared and he got laid every night. That was probably the reason they got scared. Martial arts expert: one time student of Bruce Lee and The Three Stooges. Fried medium rare, loses his pension and everything else.Alfred: Donald Burton
Butler and general killer / dogsbody / chauffeur / tennis ball target to the Mayflowers ~ loves his sheath knives too much and gets a little too much into the sharp end of things.
Gates: Burtt Harris
Tthe exttremely corruptt, nastty parole officer tto Eddie, lousy artt lover and tthe former assisttantt directtor tto Sidney Lumett. Tthe ttalentted producer of tthe film Prince Of Tthe Citty.
Getts his cutt of tthe scam deal when his tthroatt is cutt.Caesar Mario: Frank Stallone
Local gangster, terrible singer and brother to John J Rambo, messed up the SA film industry with a horrible pseudo-noir number called Easy Kill.
Game over when his ambulance crashes.Anthony Mario: Carmine Zozzora
Aka Luigi ~ terribly abused brother of the above-mentioned gangster: gets hit on the head with a bottle, struck in the face with a tray of syringes and gets killed when he tries to tell the ambulance driver how to drive ~ later becomes the co-producer of Die Hard With A Vengeance
Darwin Mayflower: Richard E Grant
South African born billionaire who plans to flood the market with gold made from Leonardo’s machine ~ not one that makes pizza, but gold. Longs to eat microwave sushi naked in the back of a limousine.
Electrocuted.Minerva Mayflower: Sandra Bernhard
Ditsy, lunatic wife of the above and owner of a cojone
– chewing mutt named Bunny. Part time dominatrix and terrible singer. Covered in gold but not in a decorative way.
Almond Joy: Lorraine Toussaint
CIA agent previously known as Chlamydia ~ no wonder she changed it. Likes to punch people in the head. Paralyzed by a curare dart and blown up.Butterfinger: Andrew Brynarski
Dumb ass CIA agent who is just there to fetch and carry, while learning to eat correctly in a swanky restaurant, learning to read the correct way up and learning to order in French when he’s actually in Italy. Arrowed to death.Snickers: Don Harvey
Another smarmy CIA agent who has no respect for fine Italian champagne and ends up getting killed by a major migraine.Kit-Kat: David Caruso
Yeeaaahhhhh! Mute person ~ possibly The Stig's American cousin ~ who is also a card-carrying CIA agent. Survives an elbow shot to the jaw by Bruce Willis. Shot dead but still manages to be a real card.Leonardo da Vinci: Stefano Mollinari
Ah, Signor Da Vinci. Tu sono questo stronzo
. All your inventions started all this stronzo
but thanks anyway. LESSONS LEARNED
It takes way too many stamps to send Bruce Willis by rail.
The support your studio gives you can really knock you out.
Combining the wisdom of Bruce Lee, Larry, Curly and Moe as your kung fu sensei’s is not a good idea.
Never call a British butler “Jeeves”, “Sebastian Cabot”, “Mr French” or a “Buckingham Palace head motherf***r”.
Cappuccino is ‘an un-masculine European coffee”. I will hit someone with my handbag if they say that.
The Vatican City has make out warning devices and sensors.
Auctioneers should get danger pay.
Never get into the back of a limousine with a South African. Trust me.
The color blue tastes like................blue, I suppose.
You have to save the world before you can enjoy your coffee.
It takes a lot of balls to be a dog these days ~ human ones and tennis ones, that is.
Never ask for a cut of the deal, you might just get a cut and be cut.
Nuns have precognitive powers.
You cannot give proper driving directions with syringes stuck in your face.
Blood is yet another popular Heinz ketchup flavour.QUOTES:
Hawk: “Those better be tears you’re crying, Tommy.”
Tommy: “That doughnut hole eating SOB taking it in the ear for a beer rat bastard!”
Darwin: “I’ll torture you so slowly you’ll think it’s a career.”
Hawk: “The answer’s no, Gates ~ even if you bathe.”
Darwin: “Tommy! You New York Italian father made $20 a week SOB!”
Hawk: "I guess you never f****d with anyone from Hoboken!"
Gates: “Remember all those reporters that were here when you came in? “World’s greatest cat burglar!” Now, who gives a f**k?”
Darwin: “It’s not like I said ‘Teach our nation’s children how to read!”
Hawk: “I think Bunny’s got today’s ball-balls.”
Anna: “What does the color blue taste like? Trevor knows.”
Darwin: “It ain’t gonna happen. Hudson Hawk go boom boom. He dead.”
Hawk: “Aaarggghhhh! WTF is the matter with you?”
Hawk: “I guess you won’t be attending that hat convention in July!”
Almond Joy: “Almond Joy. Well, it’s better than when we first started out. Do you know what its’ like being called Chlamydia for a year?”
Hawk: “What do they call you guys? Ig and Ook?”
Tommy: “Sorry I’m late, Eddie, I miss anything?”
Kit Kat: “- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -. - - - - - - - - - -, & - - - - - - - - - - - -!!”
Darwin: “Have you seen like, David Niven? Tiptoe in, tiptoe out?”
Hawk: “Robbing the fricking Vatican? The nuns at St Agnes predicted this.”
Tommy: “Now we’re a nice local bar that none of the locals can afford.”
Hawk: “Want some more, Jumbo? I’ll kick your big flabby ass!”
Snickers: “Get this f*****g thing off my head!”
Darwin: “If Da Vinci were alive today, he would be eating microwave sushi naked in the back of a limousine with the both of us.”STUFF TO WATCH FOR:
1:03: Umm... that must be the foot of the hill. 1:20: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN OLD GUY AND HIS DONKEY!
Oh great, the movie’s going to stop now.
3:01: Hee hee: he’s fanning Richard E Grant’s credit away!
5:30: That is what you say when you are crapping your pants in Italian. Or in any other language in that situation.
7:34: Dat score be way too funky, man.
9:27: That has to be the stupidest shot in the history of the cinema.11:40: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CARMINE ZOZZORA'S HEAD!
22:00: WTF? Where did he come from? Through the roof?22:45: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST BURTT HARRIS' HEAD!23:01: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST....... Oh, the hell with it.
23:30: If he’s such a frequent flier, I wonder how he gets those through customs.
31:01: Game over for the Mario Brothers, I guess.31:50: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST BRUCE WILLIS' FACE!
32:45: George Kaplan ~ Alfred Hitchcock’s mysterious agent...nyahhh, couldn’t be.
34:29: Nice traveling in the 90s: you fall asleep in New York and wake up in Rome.
35:00: Traveling in a limo in Rome with a South African ~ bad idea.
36:42: I don’t think Carroll Baker’s husband was expecting that hard a slap or indeed any slap.
51:50: I think I met that waiter when I was in Italy in 2002.
59:19: Oy, again with the OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!
1:09:54: That would not be the correct way to wake me up at anytime.
1:12:34: That truth hurt more than the curare dart sting.
1:15:13: Hang on: where did they get my car from?
1:28:15: That scene’s in there for Mofo: no one else.
1:30:00: Now that is coffee well deserved.THE PLOT:
Our story opens with an old guy riding on his ass and getting blown off his ass onto his ass after the owner of the Castle Da Vinci blows out the windows, scaring the old guy and his ass after he gets up off of his ass. The owner is Leonardo da Vinci who is experimenting with one device after another, running from the one to the other and creating history in the process, although he doesn’t have a clue how to finish his Moaner Lisa painting when the model has bad teeth enough to put both the writer of this review and Dracula to shame.
After trying to convert lead into bronze and fanning Richard E Grant’s credit away, Da Vinci accidentally makes gold, which is less important to him than his latest brainwave ~ a precursor to the hang glider ~ the piloting of which causes the reluctant pilot to s**t himself in fear. After hiding the three parts of the crystal used to make the unwanted gold plus the poor pilots’ undies for Trevor to discover later, the story moves forward five hundred years and the soaring glider turns into a flying turkey.
After being framed by the CIA and others, expert singer, wise ass cat burglar and cappuccino coffee addict Eddie “Hudson Hawk” Hawkins gets some jail time. Lengthy jail time too as he never has the chance to see ET [lucky fellow*] and has never heard of a thing called Nintendo. Almost out of jail, his parole officer tries to bribe him into doing another job and Hawk responds by slamming the gate in his face and tossing his keys into the slop bucket.
[* I wrote “lucky fellow” because ET
is my least favorite film of all time]
Outside the prison, Hawk’s first taste of freedom is rudely interrupted by what he thinks is a gun shot, only to find out that it is his friend Tommy “Five Tone” Messina’s car backfiring. Coffee is supposed to settle the nerves, right? Wrong ~ Danny Aiello is the kind of driver that likes to do a ‘brake test’ in New York and ends up in making the Hawk spill his precious coffee: worse, he later gets another cup shot to pieces in his hand, and after his friend smashes a bottle of the house wine on a mobster’s head, he agrees to go ahead with stealing a horse, breaking into a museum, upsetting and embarrassing the guards, singing Swinging On A Star
the whole way and finally jumping off a roof and landing in a chair in his parole officer’s bargain basement flat with Trevor inspired artwork on the walls.
Now how the hell did he...... oh, never mind.
After a mysterious looking man arrives in the flat ~ a man referred to by the luckless (stay with me) PO as a Sebastian Cabot Head Motherf**ker, Jeeves and Mr French ~ the man is PO’d at the PO and proceeds to PO the PO over the head with the horse statue, revealing a part of the gold making crystal which Da Vinci had hidden there in pre-production shoots. When he presses the man for ‘his cut’ after getting PO’d, the PO gets his cut: his throat cut, that is.
The next morning after having an espresso machine explode in his face, Eddie discovers that he and Tommy didn’t in fact steal the horse sculpture as it is up for auction that night ~ Eddie rents a tuxedo and nearly rents his trousers when he meets up with Dr Anna Baragli from the Vatican and a zillionaire South African, his dotty dominatrix wife and their ball biting mutt Bunny with a voice supplied by Frank Welker.
One tripping up of a security guard, one explosion, one dead auctioneer and one smack in the face by the studio logo later, Eddie finds himself at the mercy of the goombah mobsters the Mario Brothers, whose unfortunate demise on an uncompleted toll road later, lands him up in the hands of Alfred Hitchcock’s mysterious agent George Kaplan and his band of MTVIA agents Snickers, Almond Joy, Butterfinger and a silent for once Horatio Kane, all of them being mad north by northwest.
One cut later and Hawk winds up in Rome, this time at the mercy of the aforementioned zillionaire Darwin Mayflower, his wife Minerva and their awful ball munching mutt Bunny who lay out the plan for him in graphic detail, forgetting that their private porno pics got mixed up in the montage. Their plan ~ porno pics aside ~ is for Hawk to steal the book containing another part of the crystal and which also contains a lawsuit from a prominent filmmaker as the book is called the Kodaks.
After a perilous and pricey journey involving a railway into the Vatican, a disturbance of guard’s dinner, a disturbance of His Holiness The Pope’s viewing of Mister Ed, a disturbance of some chickens, a lovely dinner with a lovely lady, a p**sed off waiter who brings ketchup in a champagne bucket, Hawk brings the book to Anna’s apartment and promptly gets knocked out by an extra strong cappuccino with some ethyl chloride in it. After recovering from the extra-strong coffee, Hawk’s next task is rob the Louvre Museum which he refuses to do, until Tommy unexpectedly turns up to convince him otherwise and Hawk unexpectedly shoots him, leaving him leaking pints of.......... ketchup.
This movie gets crazier by the frame and my undies get itchier by the wear: no washing required.
Another nasty wake-up call later involving the discovery that Anna is a nun, curare dart poisoning, portable cannon fired sticky bombs ~ one of which sticks in the unlucky Snickers’ memory forever ~ the terrible twosome launch a two man assault on the Da Vinci castle, singing, laughing and joking all the way, until fate in the form of an exploding limo, a hat convention that won’t be attended, two dead zillionaires, a dog being no-balled and an exploding gold machine intrudes.
Having saved the world, Eddie finally gets his coffee.
This is the movie that while it almost derailed both Bruce Willis and Michael Lehmann’s respective careers introduced me to two major things in my life, namely an ability to laugh when things are really bad ~ courtesy films like this ~ and the taste of good cappuccino, no matter what Danny Aiello might say about ‘un-masculine European coffees’. This film was an undeserved bomb at the box-office in my opinion and was way ahead of its’ time as far as its’ quirky sense of humor went and I still believe that Columbia TriStar tried (and failed) to market it as an action comedy which it is definitely not, rather than a quirky nineties version of films such as Riffifi
and any crime caper / heist film that you care to mention.
Sorry, that was way too long a sentence.
But the Wild Bean Cafe at almost every BP garage in South Africa makes the best cappuccino coffees.
Where have you ever seen a heist film where the main protagonists don’t wear watches but time their heists to popular songs and sing while they pinch? Where have you ever seen a film where one of the baddies is introduced to the restaurant’s house wine by having the bottle opened: not by a cork-screw but by having the bottle smashed on his head? Where have you ever seen a film where the main character is so desperate for a cappuccino that he’s willing to strangle someone for it? Where have you seen a film where a guy is released from prison, meets up with the most gorgeous lady he’s ever seen in his life, falls in love and then finds out that she’s a nun? And where have you ever seen a film where a zillionaire South African with a dominatrix wife and cojone-biting mutt wishes to eat microwave sushi naked in the back of a limo with an equally naked Leonardo Da Vinci?
Normally they would say “This is not that film and that naked guy from South Africa: please let it NOT be Trevor”
but yes, this is that film. And no, the guy from South Africa is not Trevor but the versatile Richard E Grant, actually born in Swaziland but that’s as near to dammit to South Africa as you can get.
Taken in the right way and also in the right mood ~ and if one could forget about the scary production costs to dismal box office receipts, this is a good film to chase the blues away. This zany comedy was, as I said, an undeserved box-office and critical failure: the way that the critics went after Bruce Willis and went berserk after the films’ release would have you think that their money was used to fund the film. I would quite willingly stand up in a court of law and describe this film’s benefit both to my sense of hum our and my well-being in general as I pop it in whenever I feel low. Good meds indeed.