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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.73%
Average: 4.55%
Pretty Bad: 20.45%
Total Crap: 4.55%

2 reviews, 32 user ratings

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Hudsucker Proxy, The
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Production design outdoes unfulfilling story."
2 stars

The visual design and look of "The Hudsucker Proxy" makes it nearly impossible for the story to compete. Undoubtedly, there are some entertaining sequences and moments, but when added up, they don't quite fit in to fill the void.

An ambitious, backwoods recent college grad (Tim Robbins) from the Muncie School of Business has come to the city (presumably New York) to seek a place to implement his ideas. But without experience he's stuck in the tedious, harrowing, chaotic mailroom until he's renamed as the President of Hudsucker Industries after the founder jumps 44 floors ("45 counting the mezzanine.") to his death. They company intends to use their "imbecile" as a puppet for their benefit while he has plans of his own. Something's sure to form in the interim.

Written by the Coen Brothers' (Joel, the director, and Ethan, the producer) and Sam ("Darkman") Raimi, "Hudsucker" has a lot of concept or unique visions, but this bizarro-world comedy (though it's not as bizarre as "Barton Fink") continually finds itself sycophantically stumbling over its visual style. The production design and cinematography is extravagant and dazzlingly versimilitudinous --it deserves much recognition. (One of the most impressive attributes of "The Hudsucker Proxy" was the visual effects assisting the falling sequences, which replicate and blow away the point of origin, in Hitchcock's "Saboteur.")

While the sets and flair build, Robbins nicely does the naïve oaf. Paul Newman's character acting is too thick and plastering, while Jennifer Jason Leigh is stuck with an annoying, overbearing character (with an annoying nasal voice, though Leigh does look good). John Mahoney is enjoyable --over-the-top, but restricted unfortunately only to a few scenes. There are several other nice, transient roles, but just as many forgettable.

"The Hudsucker Proxy" isn't a horrible experience, far from it, but Coens' fans will eat it up. However, it's too esoteric to be able to recommend, and it just isn't worth the effort. (Though the product "for children" was a clever, unforeseeable development --unless you look too hard at the poster or video box.)

Final Verdict: C-.

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originally posted: 11/16/00 10:25:05
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User Comments

10/30/10 MP Bartley Looks great, entertainment value is just a notch below that. But just a notch. 4 stars
9/17/08 Stu Absolutely brilliant. Zany, funny-as-hell and always entertaining. 5 stars
10/16/07 Sandy Sussman Worstest Movie I Ever Seen 1 stars
6/23/07 Charles T. Rooney Great story line 4 stars
3/30/07 Jonathan I've always loved this movie. Carter Burwell outdoes himself with the soundtrack 5 stars
1/09/07 Mary Lou One of our family favorites 5 stars
7/24/06 Sepi53 I didn't like it, waste of good actors 2 stars
2/19/06 VC better than GOdfather 5 stars
8/12/05 Kelly i love cohen brothers movies and this didnt dissapoint 5 stars
3/07/05 Jeff Anderson A great looking, but soulless mess! NEWMAN & ROBBINS ARE A TREAT, HOWEVER! 2 stars
1/25/04 Jane Praying for it to be over!!! 1 stars
8/04/03 Walter Anyone who doesn't like this movie is a fucking nihilist. Fuck it dude, lets go bowling. 5 stars
7/07/03 Elizaveta interestingly done, although slow at letter too predictable 4 stars
4/11/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" lyrik So damn underrated. 5 stars
3/24/03 Jack Sommersby Technically impressing but emotionally inert. Classic case of style over substance. 2 stars
2/09/03 Jimmy Jamez superb movie, i love it 5 stars
3/12/02 sam its the fucking tits mate 5 stars
1/28/02 R.W. Welch Quirky and mostly entertaining, but less inspired than Raising Arizona. 4 stars
1/01/02 Monster W. Kung It's ok, but give me Brazil any time. 3 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Excellent film by those wacky Coen fucks. Watch for Bruce Campbell. 5 stars
4/29/01 The Jedi Droid Gotta agree with Silent Robs comments....the Coen Bros are genius film makers 5 stars
2/25/01 maddalena letari you are incredibly involved in a cartoon like fairy tale on modern hipocrisy...... 5 stars
9/26/00 Cheryl Prentice indifferent on this one not a classic,but not a complete flop 3 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Ethan surpasses himself with the script. 4 stars
1/03/99 Charles Dubé Fantastic movie, always been very underrated. Look it up, you'll be richly rewarded. 5 stars
12/31/98 Todd It's great - you know - for kids. 4 stars
12/15/98 Binky Not my fave Coen flick. Nice hair Robbins. 4 stars
12/14/98 Jules I had trouble with it but in the end, the film making won me over. 4 stars
12/13/98 Carl A hilarious quirk-fest! There's not one normal character in the whole film! 4 stars
10/29/98 Silent Rob A film for film lovers, by film lovers. LONG LIVE THE HUD!! 5 stars
9/23/98 Nate Dogg Coen Bros....though not their stongest...still a great fuckin' flick 5 stars
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  11-Mar-1994 (PG)



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