In the early seventies, EYG Hall of Famer Steve Gerber created a character for Marvel named Howard the Duck. Howard the Duck’s comic was irreverent, satirical and existential.
Then, producer George Lucas (also an EYG Hall of Famer) got his hands on the property and turned him into a duck from outer space, and he made one of the worst films of all time. The stench of the movie has stained Howard the Duck and potentially ruined any hope for the character to take his place in the MCU.
Yes, Howard the Duck was in the Guardians of the Galaxy (trapped in the Collector’s collection) and even in the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, but no one could consider the chance of a Howard the Duck solo film or Disney + series. That is because of this film.
It is beyond stupid. No one clearly understood what made this character so special.
Howard the Duck (voiced by Chip Zien) gets pulled from his planet Duckworld, by a scientist Dr. Walter Jennings (Jeffrey Jones) during a test of the Spectroscope, a giant laser beam. Howard winds up in Cleveland where he meets musician Beverly Switzler (Lea Thompson) and they bond. Unfortunately, further experiments brought an evil Dark Overlord of the Universe to possess the body of Jennings, sending him on a mission to bring the rest of the Dark Overlords to earth.
Howard the Duck was turned into an action/adventure, campy 80s movie with some of the worst dialogue put to film. Fresh off his iconic role from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Jones was over-the-top as the Dark Overlord-in-Jennings’ body . Tim Robbins was here too playing Phil, a lab tech guy. Lea Thompson is nothing but a screeching damsel in distress, the police were total idiots, and we saw Howard’s little condom in his wallet.
Of course, the effects are terrible and Howard, himself, looks horrendous. The character is written improperly and is nothing more than a silly duck jokes and sexual innuendo.
There is a fun song at the end of the movie.
There are plenty of moments in the film that are so stupid that you can laugh at them. Not the comedic parts, mind you, but the parts that are meant to be exciting and fun. It is such a disappointment when compared to the comic book. The acting is terrible and the writing is juvenile. There is a remarkably racist scene at a restaurant that totally uses every negative stereotype from the 1980s and played for comedy.
It is a joke of a movie.