Hudson Hawk (1991) Blu-ray Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Despite having had a decent cast, the script for Hudson Hawk left much of their talents untapped.

The late 1980s and early 1990s were a busy and profitable time for Bruce Willis (Die Hard).  After making a name for himself as one half of the couple on the hit television show, Moonlighting, he became a bonafide action hero in 1988's Die Hard.  His career was on an upward trajectory and over the next few years, he starred in several films - some blockbusters, some bombs.  At the time, one of the movies that fell into the latter category was 1991's, Hudson Hawk.  Almost thirty years later, with the news that Bruce Wilis has medical issues that will end his acting career, Kino Lorber has released Hudson Hawk for sale on Blu-ray.

Eddie Hawkins (Willis) a.k.a Hudson Hawk is a cat burglar and safe-cracker who has just spent the last ten years in jail.  Upon his release, he wants nothing more than to get a cappuccino but he instead gets drawn back into a life of crime by his parole officer, the Mario Brothers Mafia Family, and the CIA.  He is also being forced to work for Mayflower Industries whose owners, Darwin (Richard E. Grant; Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Minerva (Sandra Bernhard; American Horror Story) Mayflower want him to steal components of DaVinci's work to replicate an invention that could supposedly turn lead into gold.

Despite having had a decent cast including Willis, Grant, Bernhard, Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing), Andie Macdowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), and James Coburn (Eraser), the script for Hudson Hawk left much of their talents untapped.  Grant is underutilized and Bernhard, who I find to be annoying, is overutilized as the villains.  Aiello and Willis seemed to have had a good rapport as cousins but there was very little chemistry between Willis and MacDowell making their romance completely unbelievable.

Kino Lorber, however, did a very good job upgrading the film for release in Blu-ray.  Even with the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p video quality offers more defined details like the surroundings outside of the prison or the home the Mayflowers occupy.  Colors are also sharp offering the audience a visually stunning reproduction.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and this is where the reproduction offers fewer fine details.  Dialogue sits in the front speakers and, while the effects utilize the surround speakers, they aren't as robust as one would hope.  They do, however, give the songs a punch in the arm, especially the one Willis and Aiello harmonize on. 

The combo pack does offer some extras, though none are new.  They include Audio Commentary by Director Michael Lehmann, The Story of Hudson Hawk: Featurette with Star Bruce Willis and Executive Producer Robert Kraft, My Journey to Minerva: Featurette with Actress Sandra Bernhard Hudson Hawk Theme by Dr. John: Music Video, Deleted Scenes, and 2 Theatrical Trailers (Newly Mastered in 2K).  It is a shame there couldn't be anyone interviewed or such but two of the main actors have passed and, sadly, Willis has cognitive issues so he wouldn't really be able to speak about his memories of the movie.

Hudson Hawk can't decide if it is going to be a campy parody or a more serious heist film with some moments of brevity thrown in so the end result is a mish-mosh of ideas thrown into a pot and burnt beyond being edible.   I'm not sure why Kino Lorber decided to choose this particular title for release but I wish they would have gone with a different Wilis film.

Technical Grade: B+

Film Grade: C -

Combined: C+

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
Distributed By: Kino Lorber

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For more information about Hudson Hawk visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Hudson Hawk images are courtesy of Sony Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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