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Movie Review: Hail, Caesar (2016)


Directed by: The Coen Brothers
Starring: George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin and Ralph Fiennes

Back again with yet another cinema movie review. Two things attracted me to this film; the cast and the directors. The cast is packed with some of Hollywood’s elite from George Clooney to Channing Tatum, this film truly has a dream team of a cast, plus the added inclusion of having the Coen Brothers directing it is just the cherry on top of the cake. It’s ticking all the right boxes so far. Surly this can do no wrong.

Set in the 1950’s, Hail, Caesar centres on a week of Eddie Mannix (Brolin), a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures. Eddie is continuously hard at work dealing with problems you’d expect from a film company. You’ve got disgruntled directors, actors with ego problems and actors who can’t act their way out of a paper bag. If that wasn’t enough, Mannix has a huge problem on his hands when his star actor, Baird Whitlock (Clooney), is kidnapped. Forcing the production of Hail, Caesar to be put on halt. If the ransom isn’t paid, it could have serious consequences on the future of Capitol Pictures!

I’m a bit disappointed by this film. It has a solid cast and is directed by a duo with a strong track record, but it just didn’t live up to expectations, and the fact that three people walked out the cinema within the opening twenty minutes says it all.

There’s too many characters in this film, all fighting for too little screen time. The film spends too much time hopscotching from different characters and different sets in what feels like a setup for a mini-series. In short, it was all over the place and very difficult to follow.

That brings me to this point, why is Jonah Hill on the poster? He was only in the film for less than three minutes. Might as well put Fisher Stevens on there, too. (Speaking about Fisher Stevens, check out Early Edition on YouTube. Seriously, I’ve been binge watching that show over the past week or so)

I’ll give them credit by saying that they really nailed the 1950’s feel and pictured how the movie business worked within that era. Canning Tatum has this Gene Kelly style dance routine which was surprisingly entertaining and a tribute to classic Hollywood musicals. It really grabbed my attention and was one of the only highlights of the film. It was also funny when George Clooney’s character is reciting a passionate speech, only to mess up his lines at the end!

You know that phase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Well, I learnt that don’t expect big things for movies based off a trailer.

If you want to watch a good Coen Brothers film try the likes of Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink or Inside Llewyn Davis (highly recommended, also done a review which you can find here on the site). Hail, Caesar promises so much, but delivers so little.


Rating: ** ½ (No Way, Pedro)


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