Hail, Caesar! - Review
Hail, Caeser!, the ensemble comedy to end all ensemble comedies; but does it live up to the massive excitement associated with the iconic directors as well as actors?
First off, Hail, Caeser! is not the ensemble comedy of the year. Filled with enough movie insider talk and communist garble to fill a swimming pool, Hail, Caeser! is not the laugh out loud caper - comedy it was advertised as. Instead, it is a strikingly original parody of Hollywood's golden age, told through the eyes of several of the eras biggest names. Hail, Caeser! can often be confusing, as it tends to get a little too caught up in its big picture story, and forgets to focus on its characters. While there is a lot more parody then comedy here, it doesn't make Hail, Caeser! a bad movie. There are still several laugh out loud scenes, usually between several of the cooky side characters. If you were expecting something like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, you may be disappointed. If you plan on seeing Hail, Caeser!, go in with as open a mind as you can, and you will likely enjoy it much more.
Hail, Caeser!, boasts a totally awesome cast, including Cohen Brothers veteran George Clooney. However, this is definetaly Josh Brolin's movie, and he makes a great Hollywood executive, pulling off the silly accent and lifestyle perfectly. The rest of the cast is a great support for Brolin, specifically Alden Ehrenreich as Hobie Doyle. All of his scenes, specifically the one with Ralph Fiennes, are hilarious, as he gets plenty of time to show just how untalented his character is. It's unfortunate then, that as he is introduced into the main story, his character becomes a brick wall, showing very little of the charisma that made him so funny. The rest of the cast is great, but a few characters are heavily sidelined. Scarlett Johansen, Jonah Hill, and Francis Mcdormand all have very short scenes, most of which were given away in the trailer. Allison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs The World) also makes an appearance as Brolin's wife, but oddly isn't listed as a part of the cast. Channing Tatum gets a great dance number, bringing back all kinds of shades of Singin' In the Rain, and Tilda Swinton gets ample time to show off, as she plays two twins both vying for the same exclusive story. George Clooney is great as Baird Whitlock, although he didn't seem quite as screwbally as he has in other Cohen brothers flicks, namely O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Hail, Caesar! is as much a parody of Hollywood's golden age as it is an homage to it. The film's best moments are the movies - within the movie. Scarlett Johansen, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, and Alden Ehrenreich each get a great introduction in the form of their personal movies, going from Westerns to Water Ballets. These moments are spectacularly shot, and brimming with creativity.
If you're expecting the next O Brother, Where Art Thou? style comedy from the Cohen brothers, Hail, Caesar! may disappoint you. However, it still offers a great parody as well as labor of love to old Hollywood, resulting in a film with tons of creativity.
Pros- Performances, writing, Alden Ehrenreich
Cons- Some jokes fall flat, confusing at times, not the movie it was advertised as