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 (well, mostly... reportedly, a significant part of why the film went over budget was that Willis inisted on CGI to hide his thinning hairline
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
dog), and if he survives all of this, then
he can have his coffee.
This film provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: George Kaplan; picture an evil version of Derek Flint.
- Afraid of Needles: Cesar Mario's reaction to his brother's face in the ambulance.
- Alliterative Name
- Almost Kiss
- Artistic License – Economics: The Mayflowers.
- 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.
- Axe Before Entering
- Badass Boast - "We blow up space shuttles for breakfast. You and your friend Tommy are nothing more than a mid-afternoon Triscuit."
- Badass Grandpa - George Kaplan.
- Badass Longcoat - Eddie wears it at the end.
- Bar Slide - But cappuccino and bullets don't mix. sniff.
- Battle Butler - Alfred, a Knife Nut with a Blade Below the Shoulder; "A cross between Alistair Cooke and a Cuisinart."
- Becoming the Mask - Anna, at least in regards to her come-ons to Hudson.
- Berserk Button: Caution: Do not insult God in front of a nun. One-Hit Kills can occur.
- 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.
- Brake Angrily
- Break Out the Museum Piece - Leonardo da Vinci's 500 year old flying machine, which Eddie and Anna use to escape from the castle.
- Brick Joke
- The duo sings songs to time (and synchronise) their capers. Each time, the song ends before the caper is over. At that very moment, they invariably get caught.
- "Will you play Nintendo with me?"
- The Butler Did It: Quoted by Eddie when telling Tommy about Gates' death at the hands of Alfred, who is a butler.
- Camera Spoofing - "BIG STAN!"
- Camp - It's basically a live-action cartoon.
- Captain Obvious
- Butterfinger: "Coach? I think we've been double-crossed..."
- The Playmate of the Year riding the car next to Hudson as he's rolling on a stretcher: "Hey mister! You gonna die?"
- Card-Carrying Villain - "What can I say? I'm the villain!"
- Catch Phrase - Tommy has one. Can you believe it?!
- Character Title
- Check Please: While Eddie and Anna are in a cafe, Anna says that knowing he was in prison excites her. Eddie: "Check please!"
- Christianity Is Catholic
Hawk: The Vatican! I'm robbing the freaking Vatican! The Sisters at St. Agnes' predicted this.
- Chekhov's Gun
- The opening with Leonardo's lab would make Tom Servo declare "Foreshadowing!"
- Tommy and Hawk's game of rattling off a song's playing time takes on a whole new meaning during the first robbery.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good - FBI isn't featured, but ex-CIA Kaplan is definitely evil.
- Code Name - Snickers. Butterfinger. Kit Kat. Almond Joy.
"Candy bars. Well, it's better than when we first started out. Our code names were diseases. You know what it's like being called Chlamydia for a year?!?"
- Co-Dragons - George Kaplan and Alfred.
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Confessional: (yawn) "Hit me with your best shot."
- Cover Drop - For the rope-swinging one.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon - The Corrupt Corporate Executive will torture you so slowly you'll think it's a career!
- Damsel in Distress - Though she knows she doesn't make a very good one.
- Deadly Dodging
- Deadpan Snarker: Hudson Hawk's even better at this than cat-burglary.
- Death Equals Redemption: Kit Kat, after being betrayed and pumped full of arrows, uses his last breath to loosen the ropes on Anna, allowing her to escape.
- Disney Death - Twice! To the same character!
- Dragon His Feet - Alfred.
- Dresses the Same - Kit Kat does this a lot.
- Driving Into A Truck: The ambulance carrying Eddie and Tommy Five-Tone away from the Mayflowers drives up a ramp into a truck.
- Dumb Muscle - Butterfinger.
- The Eighties - Bookended by the fact that at the start and end of the film, after being released from prison after several years, Eddie has no idea what "playing Nintendo" is.
- Embarrassing Slide - "Damned Photomat assholes!"
Hawk: That's a good shot of you, Minerva.
- 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.
- Evil Is Hammy: Any bad guy is this.
- Famous Last Words: MY PENSION!!!
- Fast Roping - This is how Kit Kat makes his first appearance.
- Faux Affably Evil: Darwin and Minerva Mayflower.
What can I say? I'm the villain.
- Felony Misdemeanor: "(long Italian curse) Messed around? Messed around?! ...Seventeen Hail Marys."
- Five-Bad Band:
- The Foreign Subtitle - Varied versions of "The Master Thief" was added to the title abroad.
- Go to Your Room: Followed by a Vulcan Neck Pinch.
- Grievous Bottley Harm
- Groin Attack: "Come to think of it, there is one part of your anatomy you won't be needing..."
- Guilty Pleasures
- 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.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eddie and Tommy seem to be a May-December version of this.
- Human Mail
- Eddie wakes up in a packing material shipping crate in another country after being rendered unconscious.
- Hawk later uses this to sneak into the Vatican Museum for the second robbery.
- Idle Animation
- Improbable Aiming Skills: "Exact change?!"
- Improvised Zipline: While robbing the Vatican, Eddie throws a rope (with a grappling hook on the end) from the top of a building across a street. He then slides down the rope to escape.
- Indecisive Parody
- Instant Sedation - The victims are paralyzed instantly by curare-tipped blowgun darts.
- Ironic Echo: "Bunny...ball ball."
- I Want Them Alive - "Really? Don't hurt him?"
- Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: "Oh, and we kind of messed around."
- Knuckle Tattoos - Kit Kat has them.
- Lampshade Hanging - "The guy on the donkey is just a guy on a donkey."
- Look Behind You: "Now, George, you don't expect me to fall for that old gag, do you?"
- Made of Explodium:
- Da Vinci apparently saw the need for a Self-Destruct Mechanism when he had his alchemy lab built. Which, really, suits his personality just fine.
- During a chase, an ambulance drives off a ramp and explodes in midair for no reason whatsoever.
- Master of Disguise: Kit Kat.
- Master of Unlocking
- Meaningful Name: Butterfinger is clumsy.
- Murder Is the Best Solution - "My God, Minerva! I Was Just Joking!" they dance together.
- 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.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues - Kit Kat in the castle.
- Not the Fall That Kills You
- 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.
- Off with His Head! - "I guess you won't be attending that hat convention in July!"
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- Eddie Hawkins, who's called "Hudson Hawk" by everyone except Tommy Five-Tone.
- We never learn the real names of the Candy Bars.
- Overly Long Gag
- Overly Long Name: In a sense, with Gates' description of Alfred.
- Percussive Maintenance: The Pope's attempt to fix a malfunctioning TV by hitting it with a staff.
- Playing High: Anna in the castle.
- Poisoned Weapons: Almond Joy's curare-tipped blowgun darts.
- Pokémon Speak: Igg and Ook.
- Pretty Little Headshots
- Psychopathic Manchild: Butterfinger.
- "So much for his... cut."
- Cesar Mario and Antony Mario — i.e., the Mario Bros.
- Punctuated Pounding: Tommy Five Tone to Darwin Mayflower.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic - Overlapping: Tommy and Anna, after the Tommy-Hudson fight scene.
- 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.
- Redundant Rescue: "I got bored, so I saved myself."
- Rhetorical Request Blunder
- 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!
- Running Gag
- Eddie can't get an unadulterated cappuccino to save his life. At least, not until the very end. By that point, he's earned it.
- Tommy comes to prison to pick him up with a cappucino in a take-away cup. Before he can have a taste, Tommy has to slam on the breaks and spill it all over.
- At the Five-Tone, Eddie gets one bar-slid to him... only to have it shot out from under his nose by one of the Mario Brothers.
- After the auction-house job, Eddie decides to make one himself... and the machine shorts out.
- Eddie gets served one at Anna's place after their date... too bad it tastes too much like ethyl chlorate.
- Sarcastic Confession
- Slashed Throat
- Speak of the Devil: When Gates is talking about Alfred, and the latter immediately enters. A subverted Inadvertent Entrance Cue or Here He Comes Now. Also provides an Answer Cut. (Pun Not Intended.)
- Staged Shooting
- Stolen MacGuffin Reveal
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Sword Sparks
- Tap on the Head
- Theme Naming: The CIA people are code-named after candy bars; apparently before that, they tried diseases.
- Theme Twin Naming: Eddie jokingly asks of the identical twin mooks tasked with following him around, "What do they call you guys? Igg and Ook?" They are credited as such.
- Threat Backfire
Darwin Mayflower: I'll kill your friends, your family, and the bitch you took to the prom!
Hudson Hawk: Betty Jo Biarski? I can get you an address on that if you want.
- Time Bombs: The rockets, with one case of Delayed Explosion.
- Time for Plan B
- "You've gotta love male bonding." Cat burglars fall off balcony.
- "Time for Plan B, George." "...Plan B...!?"
- Trojan Horse: "The Pope takes his mail seriously."
- The Voiceless
- Kit Kat only communicates through preprinted cards. "MY NAME IS KIT KAT THIS IS NOT A DREAM"
- Also Igg and Ook until they get shot whereupon for some reason each cries his own name.
- Unexplained Recovery: Lampshaded in the most hilarious way.
Eddie: But...the car went off the cliff!
Tommy: Backseat airbags, can you believe it!?
Eddie: But....it was on fire!
- Unholy Matrimony: The Mayflowers.
- Use Your Head
- Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell
- Given George Kaplan's ex-CIA, it's not surprising he's awfully bummed about it.
George Kaplan: Ah, Rome. I did my first bare-handed strangulation here. Communist politician.
George Kaplan: God, I miss communism. The Red Threat! People were scared, the Agency had some respect, and I got laid every night!
- About his new, young crew:
Punks! They think that the Bay of Pigs
is a herbal tea, and the Cold War
has something to do with penguins.
- Why Won't You Die?: Butterfinger.
- Window Pain
- World of Ham: The entire cast seems to be engaging in a scenery-chewing competition, especially Bruce Willis and Richard E. Grant.
- You Have Failed Me
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness