Hobo With a Shotgun Reviews
and Sci Fi/Fantasy big studio movie productions. "Nighthawks" caught
many casting agents attention, a bad guy terrorist role he excelled in
although it had no real substance to speak of, his 'Wolfgar' character
gave him enough scope to out class the movies leading man, one
Sylvester Stallone who had yet to fully become the huge action star
that he would become. "Bladerunner" immortalised Rutger in the realms
of Hollywoods, magic screen moments (although certainly not straight
away, Blade Runner took a while to collect is legions of fans) with his
now famous death speech scene at the movies end.
Starring in the family fantasy adventure movie 'Ladyhawke' widened
Hauers fan base and in 1986 he starred in his second iconic role in
'The Hitcher', his subtle performance winning him much accolade
(although not from famous critic Roger Ebert who felt cheated by what
he saw as a dishonest portrayal of the two lead men's relationship with
one another, personally I think he was wrong but do read his review on
Eberts website to see if you may agree with his take).
Action movies 'Wanted Dead Or Alive', 'Salute Of The Jugger' and 'Blind
Fury' kept his leading man status alive and well and his acting chops
were put firmly to the test and found to be particularly formidable in
'The Legend Of The Holy Drinker', one of, if not, his finest
performances, as well as tackling a huge issue of the day, Aids, in the
haunting 'On A Moonlit Night'. By 1990 Rutger could well have continued
to keep himself fit in the gym and carry on taking larger budget acting
parts, but he made an interesting decision, he simply wasn't interested
in chasing the larger roles, even turning down the lead in 'Robocop'.
Although he continued to swim, there's no getting away from the fact
that Hauer started to pile on weight after he quit running and training
in the gym.
Next came the lushly shot four hour mini series 'Desert Law' (later
butchered into 90 min version retitled 'Beyond Justice')shot for TV.
Not particularly well received Rutger opted to star in a different
style of thriller than he'd previously done. 'Past Midnight' was a taut
psychological movie, cat and mouse, akin to 'The Hitcher' but without
the formers gore and action scenes. Partly due to the fact Hauer was
carrying extra weight, and because it suited the material, Hauer seemed
to be thinking this new type of role may suit him more, and maybe it
would have if the original script hadn't needed emergency work by
Quentin Tarantino perhaps a tad rushed. But the main damage was this
movie never got the Cinema release it was intended to get. Instead it
was deemed not suitable to be unleashed across the big screens of
America on a large scale, with HBO picking the movie up instead.
The movie was a success for HBO, with its ratings proving that Hauers
TV audience was large and appreciative. Although this had already been
well established with the widely viewed WW2 dramas already aired on TV
during the 80s (Inside the Third Reich & Escape from Sobibor, for the
latter he won a golden globe for best supporting actor).
Around the same time as 'Past Midnight' a lower budget sci-fi 'Wedlock'
had been shot. In this Rutger got to enjoy himself without the
pressures he'd be under on a large studio movie. It was a pleasurable
working practise for him and one he'd continue from there on in, he'd
work in lead roles on TV movies and lower budget direct to Video (and
DVD) releases. Throughout the 90s he starred in a few interesting
smaller scale movies some even reaching the UK big screens ('Split
Second' and 'Surviving The Game').
Although always different, it would be fair to say that the majority of
these movies fell short of their ambition, but Hauer was always THE
watchable component in any project he appeared in so this writer had no
trouble sitting through some of the less enjoyable examples of his B
Movie leading man 90s era. For every few frustratingly bad movies like
'Blast', 'New World Disorder' and 'Crossworlds', Hauer pulled off quite
a few extremely watchable curiosity movies like 'Omega Doom', 'The Call
Of The Wild, 'Bone Daddy' and his camp outrageous 80s parody bad guy
role in 'Tactical Assault', precisely the kind of picture that just 10
years prior would have been given a huge budget.
And this brings me some 11 years later after many smaller cameos in
medium to large scale movies and the odd lead in some less than
inspiring projects, Hauer took on 'Hobo With A Shotgun'. A parody of
the exploitation action movies of the 70s and 80s (some of which Hauer
could claim to have appeared in himself) 'Hobo..' was chosen out of
many other trailers to be made into a Grindhouse Production. (Hell
Ride, Planet Terror and Death Proof had set the tend)
The reason I went into some detail of Hauers earlier career was to help
show why 'Hobo..' was welcomed so much by long term fans and why even
though the critics mauled it, it achieved its aim, it successfully
parodied the movies it chose to affectionately lampoon. Hauer stars as
a disaffected homeless drifter, angered by the moral and social decay
he sees all around him.
He decides, in very 80s shoot em up movie-esque fashion to hit back,
and hit back he does. What follows is an action packed 80 mins of
explosions gore and silly fun with awful dialogue lovingly over played
by all parties involved. This movie should have pleased long term Hauer
fans, and hopefully encouraged some of the younger viewers to check out
his 80s work and beyond. Viewed for what it is, 'Hobo With A Shotgun'
is a fun ride and well worth renting for a night in.