Around the 11th or 12th of January 1999, we began to receive e-mails regarding our review of Nighthawks, a film starring Sylvester Stallone and Rutger Hauer. Most of these messages seemed concerned with the last sentence, in which we stated that the movie stars "Rutger Hauer before he started to suck."
Before we respond to these readers, let us give them equal time and present their messages as they came to us. (If you'd rather not go through the entirety of these e-mails, you can jump straight to our response.)
Subject: Rutger Hauer
Your review of Nighthawks is a fair assessment but you killed the interest with the ridiculous last sentence "Plus it contains Rutger Hauer before he started to suck."
Rutger has gone on and made some really wonderful movies as an independent outside the realm of Hollywood. Rutger has more acting ability and dominates a screen as none have since John Wayne. Rutger, by his own choice, refused the Hollywood "glitz"
Watch the movie Hostile Waters, Ladyhawke, Bone Daddy, Wanted Dead or Alive, Call of the Wild, etc., and look at the caliber of acting in Rutger's roles. Rutger is a long way from being finished with his career nor does he suck. He has been in films that were lackluster due to the Producer and Director changing the initial script and killing the movie!
How do I know so much about Rutger? He is a friend of mine and I hold my head high when I say that! I have written a book that has blockbuster movie potential and the main character role will be Rutger's if a movie is made and I am pretty sure it will be.
So, please, look a little closer at Rutger's life and career before you make a blanket statement that he sucks!
Thank you kindly!
I generally agree with your review, except for that last part about "Rutger Hauer sucks". He doesn't, not then, and not now. He's into indie-B movies...and for whatever reason, they don't turn out well. He's alway consistently good at whatever part he plays. I insist, it's not his acting that's bad, it's the movies he's in !
From: "Maria Grazia Matti"
Subject: Nighthawks review
Dear Sirs, I read your review, and I wish to point out the following : 1 - Rutger Hauer has always mentioned that he wanted to give moreemphasis to the terrorist character - Wulfgar - which was inspired by the real terrorist Carlos. Stallone ruled the game and the crew and director were with him due to his success in Rambo, therefore that
good advice from Rutger wasn't taken into account. Rutger mentioned that according to his point of view in that film there was the possibility to tell something more about terrorism, but instead he was forced to walk around like a cow-boy : he had only to play tag with Stallone and nothing else. Carlos wasn't at all like Wulfgar and so by not listening to Rutger's great advices they missed the point and lost an opportunity. 2 - Your statement "It's got Rutger before he started to suck" it's simply ridiculous ! It means you haven't seen - and one speaks for all - The Legend of the Holy Drinker. And that's a crying shame !C'mon ! You cannot make such improper judgement without knowing Rutger's career after Nighthawks! At least, a little bit of previous searching for information and updating would be advisable in order to avoid senseless statements ("The legend of the holy drinker" - 1988 - won a lot of prizes : is it enough for you if I mention a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1988, Silver Ribbons in 1989 and 4 Italian Oscars in 1988/89 ? - and what about his Golden Globe in 1987 for "Escape from Sobibor" ?). Hope to find you more informed in your next reviews. Thank you for listening. Best regards, Maria Grazia Matti
From: "Mark Ostendorf"
Hello, this is a decent review, but I disagree with saying Rutger Hauer sucks at the end. He's been in a lot of B type movies, but his performances were the only reason to watch the movies whatsoever. He has great screen presence, and if you'd watch movies like "Escape from Sobibor", "Past Midnight", "Blindside", "Ladyhawke", "The Osterman Weekend", "Hostile Waters", "Soldier in Orange", "The Hitcher", "Omega Doom" - I could name about 40, you can't deny that this guy has something special. Sincerely, Mark Ostendorf.
From: Kat Brooks
Subject: Nighthawks review
You guys must be confused. Rutger Hauer has never sucked and will never suck. I actually thought that in Nighthawks, the writing did not allow Rutger to act to his full potential.
Please inform me of what it is that gives you this ridiculous idea. I'm very curious to know.
Subject: A very bad way to end what might have been a good review
I was dismayed to finish what I thought was a pretty fair review of Nighthawks and see the very unkind and unwarranted last line, and it had Rutger Hauer in it before he started to suck. He has made many movies since that were great, he has a huge acting range from the very evil, The Hitcher to the Heroic, Ladyhawke to his more recent roles such as Fatherland. You spoke as if you quite liked him threw out your review, but to end it with that, completely destroyed the review as a whole. I for one won't be reading any reviews of yours again. Carole Ketterer
From: robertn N
Subject: Before he started to suck!
Rutger Hauer does not suck!! He outshone Sylvester Stallone in the movie Nighthawk and he does in all his movies no matter the co-star. In Blade Runner, the audience's eyes are on him not Harrison Ford.
In Hostile Waters he was superb, outshining Martin Sheen and Max Von Sydow.
I think you should stick your review up your you-know-what!! Rutger Hauer is one hell of a good actor and a lot of his fans around the world will agree with me 100 percent!
Nighthawk was a very good movie, why don't you pick on actors that cannot act their way out their hat!!
From: DebHirschlieb@webtv.net (Deborah Hirschlieb)
Subject: Nighthawks Review
Your review seemed ok till the ending. Why on earth would you make such a blatant statement like "Plus it's got Rutger Hauer before he started to suck." When did you think he started to suck?
"Nighthawks" was just the beginning of the 80's when he made many great films like Ladyhawk, Blade Runner, The Hitcher, Flesh & Blood, Blind Fury, Blood of Heroes, The Legend Of The Holy Drinker and the list goes on into the 90's. He recieved a Golden Globe for "Escape from Sorbibor" and a nomination for "Fatherland". His presence in "Hostile Waters" gave strength to the film. As for action films "Split Second" and "Redline" showed Rutger Hauer still has all the moves and charisma as in "Wanted Dead or Alive". Have you checked these films out? Deb.
Boy, it's a good thing they missed our review of Fatherland, huh?
Of course, the immediate question becomes: does Rutger Hauer suck, or doesn't he? And when exactly did the sucking begin?
Certainly, there was some point at which Rutger Hauer sucked. Such atrocious films as Blind Fury and Deadlock -- in which Hauer not only participates but actively adds to the sucking -- stand as testament to this.
That said, at what point did Hauer start to suck, and how can we scientifically determine it?
We went to the Internet Movie Database for our answers. Employing the user ratings (on a scale of one to ten, as voted by the users themselves), we have constructed this highly objective graph of Hauer's career by year. Each point on the graph represents the average rating of the films he made in the corresponding year. (A couple of years were omitted due to a lack of data. We chose 1977's A Solider of Orange as the starting point because it marks Hauer's first widely known work in the U.S.)
As you can see, it's been trending downward ever since the mid-Eighties. Despite Hauer's admittedly fabulous work in Blade Runner and other fine films, the man is no stranger to b-movies. Granted, from this graph it's difficult to pinpoint exactly when Hauer started to suck.
Right after Blade Runner he made The Osterman Weekend. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, to work with Sam Peckinpah, but old Sam was responsible for his share of bad movies, including one based on a hit novelty song (Convoy). Hauer then bounced back with Lady Hawke and The Hitcher, both excellent pieces of work on his part.
Hauer doesn't really begin to suck until the end of the decade. Hauer ended the eighties with Blind Fury (In which Hauer plays a blind swordsman based on Zatoichi, creating an unfair comparison between Hauer and the late, great Shintaro Katsu), and starts the nineties with the truly awful Deadlock. This pretty much marks the downward slide.
Granted, the very next year after Deadlock, Hauer put in a good performance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (his next to last film to get a wide release in the US -- the last was Surviving the Game), but the rest of the nineties would be typified by straight to video schlock, and we frankly find it hard to believe that Hauer is putting in very much effort into his later roles.
This is not to say every film he's made in the last 5 years has been bad. We quite enjoyed his performance in the TNT movie Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight. But for every Call of the Wild there are several films like Split Second or Precious Find.
In closing, what can we say to these legions of upset Rutger Hauer devotees?
Shall we retract the statement? No, we stand firm behind our conviction that Nighthawks represents "pre-suck" work on Rutger Hauer's part, and no number of spittle flecked e-mails from Rutger Hauer fans are going to change our opinions.
Shall we be petty, and throw a haughty "Yes, Rutger Hauer does suck!" in their faces? Nay, that would be rude and, as they point out, not strictly true all of the time.
Shall we wander down to the video store and bury ourselves in a b-movie landslide of Rutger Hauer cheesiness, searching for signs of artistic merit and acting talent? Now that sounds like something we would do. Oh, yes -- yes!
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before we start to suck.