Ladyhawke

I’ll meet you there (heaven), Father… even if I have to pick the lock.

Ladyhawke is one of those movies you remember from your youth, at least if you were a youth in the 1980s.  So here is to our blast from the past this Film Friday.

There be spoilers!

Ladyhawke is the story of Navarre and Isabeau, two lovers that live separate lives – Navarre is human during the day and wolf by night while Isabaue is a hwk in the day and a woman by night.  They were cursed by a clergyman that was in love with the beautiful Isabeau.  That is the plot, on a very basic level.

Rutger Hauer plays the formidable Navarre while Michelle Pfeiffer plays Isabeau.  Matthew Broderick is Phillipe the Mouse a petty thief that becomes the comic relief and one of the plot devices in the film.  His constant monologue to God throughout the movie is endearing and again, helps with some levity.

I remember seeing this movie as a kid, I was 9 when it came out in 1985), and I though I have watched it occasionally over the years, I watched it to see if it held up to the test of time and I would have to say that it did.

The Good

Rutger Hauer – I freaking love Rutger Hauer – even Hobo with a Shotgun Rutger Hauer.  He plays the same role in every movie but he moves well and he is fun to watch in a movie.  Not the best actor in the world but he is good and always delivers a great performance.

Navarre’s Double Crossbow – Navarre uses a double crossbow several times throughout the movie and that second shot and the look of the crossbow itself is awesome.

The Costumes – This movie is set somewhere in the 13th century.  The costume department did a remarkable job.  From the armor to the peasant costumes to the monk and bishop’s garb, the costumes are pretty spot on.  I am sure there are some inaccuracies that I am over looking but I like the costumes a lot.  If you are wanting basic fantasy garb or tips on European dress in the 13th century you could do a lot worse.

The Bad

Michelle Pfeiffer – I do not like Michelle Pfeiffer.  I would like to say that she is really good in this movie but that would be a lie, she is Michelle Pfeiffer and that is about it.  You could replace her with anybody else and it would still work as a movie.

The Ugly

The Score – The score is horrible. There are a few moments where they revert to a more appropriate orchestral score but a lot of it is 80s synthesizer music and it sucks.  The open notes are like nails on a chalk board and though you get used to it.  The sweeping lines of a synthesizer tearing at your eye whenever the hawk soars through the scene just ruins the moment.  It would have been better without any score.

Overall

Good movie and yes, it stills holds up even with Michelle Pfeiffer in it.  I would like to see them remake it.  I know that means that Colin Farrell has to play Navarre because Farrell is in every single remake that is made right now but that would be OK.  And maybe we find a good actress to play Isabeau.  But the nice thing is that Alfred Molina could still play Cezar.

You know you haven’t watched Ladyhawke in a while!  Dust off the VCR and find your stack of VHS tapes.  Pop in Ladyhawke and sit down for a good time.