Ladyhawke (1985) starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leo McKern, John Wood, Ken Hutchison, Alfred Molina directed by Richard Donner Movie Review

Ladyhawke (1985)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Matthew Broderick in Ladyhawke (1985)

The Mouse, The Wolf and The Hawk

Phillipe Gaston (Matthew Broderick - WarGames) is known as "The Mouse" because of his ability to squeeze through small spaces, it is how the young thief escapes from prison in Aquila, squeezing down a drain and into the sewers. But as a young man Gaston has yet learned to control his tongue and boasting off his escape in front of people almost gets caught by a city guard. He is saved by the mysterious Etienne Navarre (Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner) who requires Gaston to help him navigate the sewers to get him back into the city so that he can kill the evil Bishop (John Wood). Gaston finds Navarre very persuasive and journeys back to Aquila accompanied by a hawk during the day and somehow a beautiful woman called Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer - Scarface) at night.

As you start to watch "Ladyhawke" there is a temptation to walk away because it has one of the cheesiest soundtracks going, a very dated electro orchestra soundtrack which now really lets the movie down. Get beyond the initial cheesiness of the soundtrack and not only do you have a surprisingly decent adventure movie but that soundtrack starts to grow on you.

Rutger Hauer in Ladyhawke (1985)

Now the thing about "Ladyhawke" is that it is often lumped in with the fantasy adventure movies of the 80s such as "Legend" but I don't think it should be in that group. I say that as whilst it has the fantasy aspect of people morphing in to animals it shares more with say "Robin Hood" than fantasy monsters. It has that medieval look and that element of swashbuckling adventure as we have sword play and action packed escapes. That should be no surprise as "Ladyhawke" is directed by Richard Donner and as such the action is often accompanied by humour.

The daft thing is that is about it as "Ladyhawke" is simply a fun, action packed adventure movie with a small fantasy side. Of course there is the acting and a young Matthew Broderick is the supplier of the movies many moments of humour as the talkative and slippery Gaston whilst Rutger Hauer does tall and mysterious as Navarre. But there is also the arresting sight of Michelle Pfeiffer whose youthful beauty is perfect for the movie and the equally mysterious character of Isabeau.

What this all boils down to is that "Ladyhawke" is a fun movie which whilst technically a fantasy movie is not as pretentious and out there as some 80s fantasy movies. In fact "Ladyhawke" is more of an old fashioned adventure movie with a perfect mix of swashbuckling action and humour.