Go ahead and slap me, but I think Hudson Hawk is one of the best movies of all time. I have no idea why it got so critically panned, but I suspect it’s because people expected another Die Hard movie out of Bruce Willis and instead got a cross between Moonlighting and Looney Tunes. But that movie will always have a place in my heart as one of the zaniest, most enetertaining comedies I’ve ever watched. This fight pits Eddie Hawkins, aka the Hudson Hawk, aka one of the world’s most infamous cat burglars, against another Eddie who also served as the main character in a live-action cartoon. The other Eddie is of course Eddie Valiant, the hard-boiled detective in a world inhabited by living cartoons as shown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which is also one of the greatest comedies of all time. Since Eddie Valiant has experience in dealing with toons and Eddie Hawkins is practically a toon himself, Valiant has been hired to bring in the Hudson Hawk. Let’s see how he fares.
After hearing that Eddie Valiant is out to bring him in, Eddie Hawkins (who I’ll just call Hudson in this fight for the sake of convenience) decides to have a little fun with the private eye. He decides to break into Valiant’s home and steal what is most precious to him – his liquor collection. Hudson sneaks in through Valiant’s apartment window while he sleeps, singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” to himself in order to keep his timing right and because, apparently, classy cat burglars don’t need gloves or masks or tools but rather an encyclopedic knowledge of show tunes. Unfortunately, Hudson just can’t help himself as he approaches the end of the song. Once he gets his hands on Valiant’s booze, he follows Sinatra’s cue and bellows out “MY WAYYYYY!” to close out the song. This wakes up Eddie Valiant, who is none too pleased to see someone making off with his precious, precious booze. Round One goes to Eddie Valiant, as Hudson Hawk blew the heist.
Hudson Hawk may look and act human, but Valiant sees right through his disguise and realizes that he’s a mash-up of a toon and the Three Stooges. Even without the added incentive of getting his precious, precious alcohol back, that would be enough to get Eddie fighting mad. He charges Hudson with all his might, knocking him over and pinning the cat burglar under his rotund figure. Although Valiant is on top and pummeling the heck out of Hudson, we’re talking about a character played by Bruce Willis, and all Bruce Willis characters have the constitution of a vending machine. Hudson takes Valiant’s best hits and keeps coming back with puns, noises, and song references. Eventually, Valiant tired himself out and drops. Hudson kicks Valiant off of him and prepares to leave with the hooch. Round Two goes to Hudson Hawk.
Being on the edge of Toon Town, Valiant still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Picking himself up, he pulls an old cartoon trick before Hudson can leave – he changes sets. Rolling the “dingy apartment” background aside, he replaces it with the set of Danny the Dog, aka Unleashed, a Jet Li film. Valiant bears a striking resemblance to the villain of that piece – it’s like they’re long-lost brothers or guys played by the same actor or something. At any rate, for those who haven’t seen the film, it’s a movie starring Jet Li, which means that it involves Jet Li kicking a lot of ass. Valiant removes the collar from Danny and lets him go after a very bewildered Hudson Hawk, who has just seen something weirder than even he is used to. Anyway, Hudson might be able to take a lot of punishment, but he’s not going to be able to stand up against the stuff that Danny/Jet Li dishes out. As soon as Hudson goes down, Eddie Valiant grabs the booze and hightails it out of town before someone thinks too hard about what just happened. Round Three and the fight go to Eddie Valiant.