So, I’ve officially now seen humanoid duck breasts. Howard the Duck, what even are you?
I heard this movie kind of sucks, and I’m not a huge fan of comedy as a genre. Usually, it doesn’t land with me. There are exceptions, of course — Deadpool, The Princess Bride — but for the most part, I don’t like funny movies.
I don’t know how to feel about Howard the Duck.
Structurally, the movie holds together. Minor plot holes riddle the thing, but I get the feeling I’m not supposed to care. We don’t meet the villain until more than halfway through the movie, which I think doesn’t make a lot of sense. Additionally, the disintegrator gun pivotal to the climactic action sequence comes out of nowhere.
The movie follows Howard the Duck after a laser beam drags him to Earth. He meets a girl named Beverly who fronts a girl punk band called Cherry Bomb. They fall in love. An evil monster possesses a scientist trying to help Howard go back to his planet. There’s a chase scene involving a hobby airplane and a fleet of cop cars. And again, duck breasts.
(Okay, so the duck breasts are in like five seconds of the movie at the beginning. I just can’t get over them.)
I can’t even really complain about the romantic subplot, because I can’t say Howard shouldn’t be with Beverly because he’s an alien. After all, I like Clark Kent with various human people, right? I didn’t like that Beverly falls in love with him practically right away, but that probably counts as a personal preference. Beverly as a character otherwise appeals to me quite a bit. She just wants to help, but she’s kind of ditzy and freezes up when bad things start happening, at least at first.
Characters not doing anything actually makes up a lot of my complaints about the film. I don’t get why Beverly and her scientist friends don’t try to assist Howard much during the final fight against the bad guy. They just stand there — we don’t even get very many reaction shots from them.
Some clunky dialogue also drags the script down a little, though my main complaint has to be that there were not enough duck puns. The special effects also did not hold up, even for the period.
Overall, though, I sort of liked it! I didn’t hate it, at least. It sort of feels like an ancestor to this year’s Deadpool, given it’s a comedy, and an element of being a freakish outcast, I guess. This seems to put me in the minority, though, because it barely made back its budget when it premiered in 1986. For the first Marvel character who got a movie, that’s a pretty poor showing. But then, the movie was a dirty adult comedy about a talking duck and his punk rock girlfriend in 1986. It probably wasn’t going to get mainstream success anyway.
Either way, I still am not quite sure what to think, to be honest.