A Major Motion Disappointment.
“Hail Caesar!” is by no means a bad movie. But given the fact that the Coen Brothers have made such gems like “No Country For Old Men”, “Fargo”, “The Big Lebowski”, and others, we have come to hold them to a bit of a higher standard than other directors. At first, I didn’t think it was fair to hold directors accountable for their old work in their new films.
But then, Peter Jackson took one of the most beloved film franchises of all time, and my personal favorite, and took a steaming, action-and-cgi-packed dump on it.
So yeah. And “Hail Caesar!” is by no means a giant money ploy like “The Hobbit” series. I just think that when filmmakers make iconic films, you don’t have to expect them to make them time and time again, but you can expect them to near the mark.
The movie revolves around Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a studio fixer in post-war Hollywood (the people in the golden days of Hollywood whose job it was to cover up all of the Studio’s problems and make their public image great). One day, his star actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped from the set by a mysterious group of people. Mannix receives a ransom note-
What follows is some intrigue, inconsistent hilarity, and mild disappointment.
The Coen Brothers’ filmography is so vast that there’s bound to be a few duds, but did it have to be the one with the most exciting trailer of the year?!?!
I’ll start of by listing the good things, and then get into why I didn’t love this film.
The Production values are fantastic.
“Hail Caesar!” revolves around a post-WWII Hollywood studio, Capitol Pictures, and the movie is very much a homage to old Hollywood. The film is filled with elaborate, beautifully designed sets and the setting is always changing from one eccentric genre film to the next. The film is definitely filled with plenty of eye candy, but unfortunately, it is the best part.
We get a splendor of Crazy Coen Characters, but nothing really happens with them.
As per usual, this film is filled with tons of eccentric characters that are endlessly fun to watch. Eddie Mannix, played by Josh Brolin, is a self-conscious, determined studio “fixer” who has to manage everyone, from snarky, selfish actors to overly artistic directors. The film boats a terrific ensemble cast, with the likes of Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Channing, Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Alden Ehrenreich, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, and others. The best comic moments come from the collision of these over-the-top personalities, but they stop right around there. The comedy is loose and inconsistent, and too many characters just come-and-go without any real depth or development. I wish I could see more of the hilarious characters who were on the screen for what seemed like seconds.
(Me saying goodbye to the characters in “Hail Caesar!”)
The film is filled with several hilarious scenes on the set of Hollywood B-movies, but are broken up by too many slow patches.
The Coen’s Philosophical pondering doesn’t quite hit home.
The films revolves around a love for classic Hollywood and a nostalgic wish that things could be like they used to. But, the movie is so anti-climactic, so inconsistent, that by the time you get to the end of this 1 hour and 46 minute film, you will be ready to leave.
Save your money and go see “Deadpool” next week. I can almost guarantee you’ll have more fun.