Hudson Hawk is a 1991 film starring Bruce Willis while he was still making the transition from comedy roles like Moonlighting to his current Action Hero typecasting. Older tropers experienced with the actor's pre-Die Hard career will know this means he mugs a lot and does just about anything for a laugh. And he still has hair.Gentleman Thief extraordinaire Eddie "Hudson Hawk" Hawkins has just gotten out of prison, and all he really wants is a cappuccino and an honest job. However, his parole officer has teamed up with two Italian brothers with the surname "Mario" to force him to do one last job that leads to a madcap series of capers that do all they can to defy summation.Before it's over, Eddie will hurtle down a freeway on a gurney, unknowingly flirt with a nun, burgle the Vatican with fifty bucks worth of seemingly random items, discover Leonardo da Vinci's secret formula for turning lead into gold, battle candy-bar codenamed CIA agents (and one damned annoying crotch-biting dog), and if he survives all of this, then he can have his coffee.
They want to make the world currency market collapse by making so much gold that it turns all of the stuff into Worthless Yellow Rocks. That might have worked in, say, 1965. However, ever since Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard in 1971, no currency has any significant links whatsoever to gold, and making lots and lots of gold would only collapse the gold market. Enough to send shockwaves through the global economy? Probably. Enough to destroy it? Never.
The idea that their own fortune would be unaffected also falls short.
There's some implications that "most of" their fortune is in physical commodities and properties whose relative value would be unchanged... Which doesn't explain how they can throw around money like it's already worthless pieces of paper.
Blow Gun: Used by CIA agents, who should logically have something better, with explicit mention of curare, which is treated as a temporary paralyser. Because it was improperly prepared, the victims recover sooner than anticipated.
Every Car Is a Pinto - The safety features on ambulances are apparently disabled by the presence of stupid mobsters. On the other hand, certain cars in the movie have very good interior fire-suppression systems.
Hammerspace: One of the villains cuts open the cover of Da Vinci's codex to reveal that the book cover, which was approximately a quarter inch thick, contains a piece of the gold machine reflector which is about the size of a billiard ball.
Naughty Nuns - Not that naughty, but she certainly thinks flirting with Eddie is a guilty pleasure.
Neutral Female: Subverted. She does free herself. And, during the fight with Alfred at the end, she does try to help Eddie. Unfortunately, her aim sucks, but, to be fair, she is a nun, and therefore probably not particularly experienced in the operation of firearms.
Nice Hat: To Eddie at least, as realizing that it has fallen off his head is what allows him to break free from the involuntary movements that Kaplan had him locked in.
Novelization: by Geoffrey Marsh. Shockingly, for a novelization of a film that was being rewritten as it was made, the book is incredibly faithful to the final product, aside from including the deleted subplot about Kaplan killing Hawk's pet monkey Little Eddie.
Offhand Backhand - "I'll kick your Centrally Intelligent ass up one side of the piazza and down the other!" Elbow-to-the-face.
Offstage Villainy: The third robbery takes place offscreen by the main villians after Hawk is arrested when Tommy fakes his death as part of their plan to escape the Mayflowers.
Reality Has no Subtitles: While Hudson is ordering food at a restaurant he speaks in Italian. At the end of the order he asks for some ketchup and the waiter walks away complaining about the uncultured American. None of their Italian dialogue is subtitled.
Reality Is Unrealistic - The "Da Vinci Codex" is a misnomer, as there are at least 5 codices of Da Vinci's. The one in the film is neither; it is a composite of two recognizable Da Vinci works: the Vitruvian Man on one side, which was never in a codex, and the Study on Muscles on the other, which are among the Windsor Folios. No such codex exists. Nor is there a Da Vinci codex in the Vatican Museum.
Rule of Cool - When Eddie and his partner have to synchronize their actions to pull off a heist, do they use their wristwatches? No ... they sing showtunes. While sneaking around inside an occupied building.
Rule of Funny - This movie runs with it and the tank is filled baby!