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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ladyhawke (1985)

In medieval Italy, a young thief (Matthew Broderick) escapes from the dungeons of Aquila. He is pursued by the Bishop of Aquila's guards but saved by a mysterious stranger (Rutger Hauer) whose strange fate forms the basis of a heartbreaking love story. Directed by Richard Donner (LETHAL WEAPON), there's a lovely almost fairy tale movie somewhere in there that's trying to get out. Alas, it's so compromised that it's doomed from the start. It's as if the film makers (there are three credited screenwriters) felt that the romanticism wasn't strong enough to take center stage so they've gussied it up. Matthew Broderick is so contemporary that he seems to have come in from another movie, he's a real fish out of water here. Fortunately, there's Hauer and the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer as the lovers and they bring a genuine sense of pain and pathos to their characters. But while it's set in medieval times, the ghastly disco underscore by Andrew Powell firmly places the film in the 1980s! What were they thinking? One of those "almost" movies and that's almost enough to make it worth watching. With Leo McKern, John Wood, Alfred Molina and Ken Hutchison.

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