‘Hail, Caesar!’ Didn’t Quite Come, See and Conquer

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Published February 11, 2016
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George Clooney plays the main character of the Coen Brother's Hail Caesar! Photo courtesy of Tom Blunt (Flickr)

“Hail, Caesar!” is the newest movie by the Coen brothers and has an immense cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

“Hail, Caesar!” follows the story of Eddie Mannix (Brolin), who is a Hollywood fixer for Capital Pictures in the 1950s. When actor Baird Whitlock (Clooney) is kidnapped and Mannix and other characters start wondering where he could be, they deal with bigger problems than they could have ever expected.

The movie also has multiple characters that have their own arcs and we as audience members see how all of the story arcs are connected to the main plot of the film.

We also have the privilege of seeing a movie that pays tribute to 1950s Hollywood.

As a film enthusiast, I was highly anticipating “Hail, Caesar!” because I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers. Every time a new movie of theirs is released, I am instantly excited, because all of their movies are very different. Their filmography consists of crime dramas, comedies and dramas and most of them are unique in their own way.

“Hail, Caesar!” looked like it was going to be a classic from the Coen brothers and, while that may not be the case, I still found it to be a very good movie. In fact, there is actually quite a lot to like about this movie.

To begin with, the performance from everyone in the cast was stellar. Brolin as the lead role was terrific and he was a very likeable character. He was someone who fixed everything and knew how to get what he wanted, even if it meant that he had to go to extreme measures. Clooney was also great in his role, providing a lot of laughs and having a lot of charisma.

The Coen brothers usually manage to get fantastic performances from their casts and “Hail, Caesar!” is no exception.

However, the standout of the movie is Ehrenreich, who stole every scene he was in and played the funniest character in the movie by far. There is one scene in particular that involved him and a director auditioning for a scene, which was hysterical. There are also scenes throughout the movie that have a lot of hilarious moments and when the comedy hits, it hits really hard.

George Clooney plays the main character of the Coen Brother's Hail Caesar! Photo courtesy of Tom Blunt (Flickr)

George Clooney plays the main character of the Coen Brother’s Hail Caesar!
Photo courtesy of Tom Blunt (Flickr)

The writing of the film, for the most part, is really clever. The dialogue is quirky and it is well-delivered by the cast. This movie also has some dramatic moments and religious themes that work to a certain extent. It’s also really well-paced, as I was never bored while sitting in the theater.

However, this movie does have its flaws and although I really enjoyed the movie, I do not consider “Hail, Caesar!” to be one of the Coen brothers’ best movies.

However, there are some flaws that kept me from loving this movie, one being the narrative. The reason why I said that the writing was really clever for the most part is because the overall plot felt a little bit unfocused. There are scenes that do not really mesh well and, even though all of the actors did an outstanding job, it seemed as if some of the characters weren’t needed. Actors like Swinton, Johansson and Hill are very underutilized and it was disappointing to see, considering how much talent all three have.

The movie was also a bit inconsistent with its tone, as the comedy and the drama didn’t blend well like in the Coen brothers’ other movies.

These are all flaws that kept “Hail, Caesar!” from being a truly great movie. However, the good in this movie outweighs its flaws, so it is still very enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this movie to film enthusiasts or to anyone who just wants to see a good movie. Even though this movie is currently not doing well in the box office, I hope people give this a chance because the film really does deserve it.

 

 

 

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