Published on October 16th, 2019 | by Chris O'Connor
Last Action Hero/Hudson Hawk Bluray Review
Summary: One overlooked gem, one undercooked ham.
I hadn’t seen either of these movies for years. I had some recollection of what they were both like in my mind… one lived up to my memory… the other, well… it wasn’t quite so good. One was at least in part written by the star… the other wasn’t. Can you guess which is which?
Last Action Hero features Danny Madigan a kid with a love of big budget action movies and there is no bigger star of those movies than Arnold Schwarzenegger as Jack Slater. But Danny never thought he could be part of those movies himself, but when his friend Nick, the cinema’s projectionist, hands him a magic ticket… that’s just what happens. Only problem is, the ticket works both ways and one of Jack Slater’s enemies gets hold of the ticket and Danny’s world is set to be turned upside down.
Hudson Hawk features Eddie “The Hawk” Hawkins, the world’s most famous cat burglar. After a ten year prison sentence all Eddie wants to do is get a good coffee and find an honest job… but others have different plans for him. The Mob and the CIA have plans for Eddie and they involve stealing three DaVinci masterpieces and with greedy and wealthy Minerva and Darwin Mayflower wanting the artworks so they can control the world’s economy… it looks like Eddie’s coffee is going to have to wait.
With a fresh viewing of Last Actin Hero I found it to be possibly even more enjoyable now than when I first watched it. I suspect there were even more jokes and self deprecation that I missed in my original watching. Arnold does a brilliant job of lampooning himself and the industry that has made him a household name. Charles Dance plays a delightful bad guy who doesn’t suffer fools lightly.
Hudson Hawk on the other hand… doesn’t stand up so well. I think there’s a good chance that my younger self was more forgiving of elements of the film and there are some that are enjoyable… but ultimately I found the over the top acting (especially Richard E Grant and Sandra Bernhard) very cringe worthy. Being very cynical about it… it does come across as an unpolished script and part of that may well be because Bruce Willis was one of the writers. It just feels like maybe with a bit more work on the script, tightening some of the elements and an approach that doesn’t have characters being so hammy they intimidate Kermit the Frog… it might well have been something good.
Last Action Hero sets itself up to laugh at itself and the movies it’s based around and earns those laughs. Hudson Hawk doesn’t seem to quite know whether it should be playing for laughs or being serious and ends up kind of missing the mark on both. The melodramatic elements aren’t really done in a way that draws laughs but rather just seem forced. It’s still got enjoyable elements but I would be recommending this collection mostly for Last Action Hero, of the two movies that were commercial duds… it’s the one that deserves to shine.
Directors John McTiernan/Michael Lehmann
Film Genre Action
Label Umbrella Entertainment
Running Time 231
Aspect ratio 1.78:1
Region Coding B
TV Standard HD
Consumer Advice Moderate course language, Moderate violence
Year of Release 1991
Primary Format – Movies/TV Blu-Ray