A film that captures the old timey Hollywood cinema, but somehow manages to lose its focus on its narrative storytelling beats. ‘Hail, Caesar!’ stars an all-star cast (too many to name), with the film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (also known as the Coen Brothers).
The film’s story takes place at Capitol Pictures that Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is the head of the film production for the studio Capitol Pictures, working on their biggest release of the year titled as “Hail, Caesar!”. However, the main actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) has been kidnapped by “The Future”, leaving Mannix to find the star to rescue the film.
With this intriguing setup, and potential of a smart story, the film itself is confused and convoluted. It’s strangely unfocused, jumping between different films and characters that often don’t get enough time to shine. While Josh Brolin’s character Eddie Mannix is the film’s star, his character is probably the only character that gets enough attention and development to sustain in running this film studio. For a film that is labelled as a comedy, there are very little scenes that make you laugh, but at times border of being ridiculous. The film seems much unfocused, and when the twist comes, it comes unexpectedly with no built-up to the twist whatsoever.
Josh Brolin and Alden Ehrenreich provide the best acting performances in the film, with Alden Ehrenreich being a complete surprise and a breakout star of this movie. It’s just unfortunate that Jonah Hill is in the movie for about a minute of screen time (despite get star billed in the trailer and posters?) and Scarlett Johansson having little screen time to evolve her character, despite her acting performance being quite good.
What I can say that impressed me is seeing how old classical Hollywood films are made, with such beautiful direction and ambiguous style of the mermaid scene, Channing Tatum’s amazing musical dance number and the old timey Cowboy western pictures.
‘Hail, Caesar!’ works well as a studio tour, than as a full fleshed motion picture.
It’s direction is promising with great sequences of scenes to be enjoyed, but it’s just bogged down with an unfocused and hard to follow story.