Hudson Hawk

A bizarre throwback to the 60s subgenre of farcical James Bond spin-offs (Our Man Flint, Casino Royale, Modesty Blaise, et al), involving lots of mechanical action, tons of repartee, and a master plot to take over the world. Crooks force a former cat burglar (Bruce Willis) to resume his profession in order to recover three separate parts of a machine invented by Leonardo da Vinci that converts lead into gold. Directed by Michael Lehmann (Heathers), this expensive romp features Danny Aiello as the hero’s best friend, Andie MacDowell as the romantic interest, Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard (who intones, This is supposed to be torture, not therapy) as the baroque villains, and James Coburn as a sinister CIA operative (a direct reminder of the Flint movies). It doesn’t have the polish or the momentum of an Indiana Jones adventure, and isn’t too engaging on the plot level, but at least the filmmakers keep it moving with lots of screwball stunts. Steven E. de Souza and Daniel Waters are credited with the script, based on a story by Willis (whose production company made the movie) and executive producer Robert Kraft. (JR)

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