Michael Lehmann directed this post-modernist hash of To Catch a Thief and The Naked Gun starring Bruce Willis as Hudson Hawk, a cat burglar who wants to go straight, but the circumstances won't allow it. The story begins in a pre-credit sequence that takes place in the renaissance.
Leonardo Da Vinci (Stefano Molinari) is rushing through his Mona Lisa painting to work on his latest invention -- a machine to turn lead into bronze. But Da Vinci makes a mistake and, instead of bronze, the machine turns the lead into gold.
Realizing the danger of his invention if the contraption gets into the wrong hands, he hides three parts of the apparatus inside three of his other works. Four hundred years later, Hudson Hawk, the world's greatest cat burglar, is being released from jail after pulling a ten-year stretch.
He wants to retire from the profession of cat burglary and drink some cappuccino, but two screwball billionaires -- Darwin and Minerva Mayflower (Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard) -- won't let him. Their nefarious plot is to steal the three Da Vinci works, restore Da Vinci's gold-making machine, and destroy the world's monetary system.
They blackmail Hawks into working with them to steal the Da Vincis by threatening the life of Hawks's pal Tommy Five-Tone (Danny Aiello). Along with the power-mad billionaires, Hawks has to deal with the CIA, in the person of George Kaplan (James Coburn), breathing down his neck.
He also has Vatican art restorer Anna Baragli (Andie MacDowell) falling for his smirk.