One Valuable Life Lesson Hiding in One of the Worst Films

In the movie, Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello are master thieves. To prove this to the audience, they pull off their heists as they sing a song with the same running time as the heist. If they only have, say, three and a half minutes to steal a thing, they will sing a song that is three and a half minutes long as they steal the thing. This basically turns the heist sequences into musical numbers. This was my closer. This was to be the crescendo of my exuberant description of a masterful film that was unrivaled by any other in the action/comedy/crazy butler/da Vinci conspiracy/world domination through alchemy genre of film. I told Steven about the singing heists with such fervor, such unbridled joy, that when I finished I should have stomped my foot and struck Vaudevillian Jazz Hand pose. I should have shouted "TADA!" If I had a microphone, I would have dropped it and everyone would have lost their minds.

I expected the next words out of Steven's mouth to be "I didn't know I had a Hudson Hawk-size hole in my heart until this moment," followed by a showering of roses, as if I were being honored as a geek matador who had effortlessly dodged the charging bull of fandom.

TriStar Pictures
This moment from Hudson Hawk shows you how to make someone watch Hudson Hawk.

Steven just stared. "Why don't they just wear watches?"

Why don't they just wear watches. Why don't they just wear watches. Why don't they just wear watches.

The words echoed in my head.

Why don't they just wear watches. Why don't they just wear watches. Why don't they just wear watches.

With every echo, another chunk of my teenage arrogance was torn away and used to form one undeniable, inescapable image.

Never once in the at least two dozen times I had watched Hudson Hawk did it occur to me that these supposed master thieves are actually the worst thieves to have ever thieved. If you're planning a heist and a fellow thief says you should all get some watches, and then you suggest singing a jaunty tune instead, they're taking away your thieves guild card, along with your guild health plan. In that moment I realized that singing while stealing is the stupidest thing I had ever fucking heard and I totally believed it could work a second earlier and all seconds before that. I never questioned it until I had one of my best friends staring me down with nothing but pity in his eyes.

My world was smoldering. I saw the image:

Just because you learn a lesson doesn't mean you'll forever abide by it. For example, even after that life-altering moment of truth, I still walked out of that beautiful video store with a VHS copy of Hudson Hawk, and I used what little money I had left to buy Hackers, too. But I didn't walk out of that video store with only two awful movies on a soon-to-be-outdated form of media. I walked out with two shitty movies -- and enlightenment. Maybe that natural teenage arrogance that came packed as a complimentary gift with my set of pubes was unearned. That realization hurt, but I've carried it with me ever since. I'm not perfect. But knowing I'm dumb softens the blow. I'm never too hurt when I fail. Why would I be? I'm dumb. I know that I know nothing. Why not embrace how little I know and work to erase it -- even though I never truly will -- rather than be shamed by it?

United Artists
But I'll totally feel ashamed for liking this one.

Incredible films are made and released every day. Films with top-notch acting, impeccable screenwriting, and unrivaled direction. Films that move me, stir something inside of me. I will watch them, but I won't watch them again. So give me Bruce Willis riding an ambulance stretcher down a New York bridge, pulling and turning it to weave through heavy traffic, as he tosses some change into a toll booth from about 30 feet away, thus raising the toll stick thing and allowing him to escape from two thugs driving the ambulance -- an ambulance that then, for no reason, flips and explodes, because I guess the writers (one of whom was Bruce Willis) had no idea how to remove the thug characters from the script so, fuck it, blow 'em up.

Why do I want that? Because I am dumb. I know that I know nothing. It's a good starting point.

You can look on in awe as Luis be dumb on Twitter and Tumblr.

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Luis Prada

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