Hail, Caesar! Is the latest movie by filmmaking legends Joel and Ethan Coen. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, and Alden Ehrenreich. The movie centers around Josh Brolin's character Eddie Mannix, who is in charge of The Capitol Pictures Studio Lot and all the movie stars that it hires. One day their most prestigious actor Baird Whitlock, George Clooney, gets kidnapped and held for ransom.
This isn't a mystery. It isn't a drama. It's barely a comedy. It's just an hour and forty minutes of sketches edited together with a tin plot added on. Most of the other actors in the movie, that are advertised, are barely in the movie. They hold no real importance. And all the jokes revolve around the same premise. That it's old Hollywood magic, but once you pull back the curtain it's disgusting and chaotic. It goes on forever. Not to say some of it was worthy of a chuckle, but the novelty wears off rather quickly.
I do have to give credit to the costume designers, the dance choreographers, the cinematographer Roger Deakins, and the production designers who really made the movie look and feel special. It truly was 1950's Hollywood. If only their was a good story here. With good characters.
Our central character, Josh Brolin, doesn't seem to distraught about George Clooney's disappearance. Most of the problems he has throughout the film are easily taken care of within seconds of them arising. George Clooney's character doesn't really care that he is kidnapped. So, why should I care that he's kidnapped? Though Mr. Clooney gives a fine performance as always as the buffoon in every Coen Brothers film.
The only actor/character here that showed any real depth was Alden Ehrenreich's character, Hobie Doyle. He plays a cowboy stunt rider turned actor who is thrusted into the fake Hollywood lifestyle. He is the only one who shows passion, honesty, and is also very charming. Though he is underused throughout the entire film, and most of his laughs come from the fact that he's a southern stereotype. The movie should have revolved around him. It'd be a lot more interesting. Another actor who was extremely underused in this movie was Channing Tatum. He did a great job singing and dancing. He has also proven himself as an astonishing actor. Given who he turned out to be in the film, he would have made a great antagonist.
The Coen Brothers are known for their subtext that they put into some of their movies. Hail, Caesar! is trying to be smarter than it is by putting in a Communism plot and weaving it in with the rest of the movie. The big passionate speeches about how the ordinary man should rise up. The obvious religious symbolism that is practically hitting the audience in the face. All of which doesn't make a difference one way or the other. It's just another gag that goes nowhere.
Every director has their hits, but every director has their flops. This is definitely a flop. It's drawn out, and stitched together. Every problem is effortlessly solved, and no amount of funny looking faces can save this movie. The production design was excellent, and all the stars were great, and the singing and dancing was superb. Though it was all wasted on a film that was extremely aimless. If you want to see a movie about 1950's Hollywood sleaze watch L.A Confidential.
Though this is only my opinion and I always encourage everyone to go see a movie regardless if I liked it or not. Maybe you'll see something I didn't. Go out and see it!