Bruce Willis – in the worst movie of his career – plays Eddie Hawkins (aka Hudson Hawk), a cat burglar just out of Sing Sing who wants to go straight but cannot adjust to the real world. Even his old saloon hangout is now a yuppie bar serving brandied goat cheese pizza.
Somehow he gets framed – by the CIA, the Vatican, and a gang of arch-fiends who count frequent flier mileage points like blue-chip stocks – into stealing three long-lost artefacts by Leonardo da Vinci commissioned by the Duke of Milan in 1481.
Willis performs the task with the aid of his old pal Danny Aiello while they sing and dance to Frank Sinatra‘s big-band arrangement of Swingin’ on a Star.
Then he gets stuck in a runaway ambulance careening across the Triborough Bridge, and when his stretcher lands in a box full of styrofoam he wakes up in Rome tortured by crooks named after diseases and is seduced by Andie MacDowell, who may or may not be a nun doing undercover work for the Pope, who watches Francis the Talking Mule movies on closed-circuit Vatican TV.
Sometimes she’s in a nun’s habit, sometimes she’s French kissing and showing her G-spots.
Nothing is clear except that the master criminals are Darwin and Minerva Mayflower, played by Richard E Grant and Sandra Bernhard.
People get burned, stabbed, skewered in the eyes with hypodermic needles, blown to bits, and they all come back to life at the script’s convenience.
There’s a dog who munches Bruce Willis’s privates, and when all else fails, the movie returns to 1481 for a look at Da Vinci’s medieval Mel Brooks iron factory where metal is transformed into gold.
Hudson Hawk (Eddie Hawkins)
Richard E Grant
Leonardo da Vinci