Hail, Caesar! (2016)


Pros
  • Though he shares a bit of screen time, George Clooney was the high point of the movie as the semi-dim-witted megastar
  • There is a bunch of Hollywood nostalgia to admire
  • Tackles multiple genres of Hollywood, film-noir, musicals, westerns, etc
  • The table of religious heads approving the movie's take on Jesus
  • Hollywood-esque commentary that some might find rather amusing

Cons
  • The cardinal sin, it lacks entertainment
  • I have to say the trailer was misleading in the sense that it gave off a movie goofy/comedic tone than what was given
  • The core storyline felt very underdeveloped (and borderline non-existent)
  • For a film claiming to be a comedy, I gotta say the laughs were hardly there
  • A dozen scenes that do nothing to advance the plot of the movie
  • With names like George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill, the movie makes poor use of their screen time

Score: 4/10

Sadly, Hail, Caesar!, is a misfire in the eyes of this reviewer, especially given that it is a Coen Brother's film. It's disappointing to have to review a C- movie (at best) by A+ quality filmmakers. This just happens to be one of those times where things didn't click like they should have. Rest assured, if you didn't find the trailer entertaining, odds are you won't find this movie remotely engrossing.

I understand that the movie is a satire on Hollywood and the wild things that goes on there, but it could have at-least been a bit more amusing. We are shown the craziness of random casting changes, Hollywood gossip, political intervention, director-actor relationships, and the difficulty of keeping everything together. But in doing so, the overall story seems to never come full circle. The title character (Brolin) goes from one set to the next as we are shown elaborate dance scenes, and behind the scenes turmoil. The problem is these scenes do nothing to advance the plot. It's as if the movie takes its main story and puts it on pause while we get a completely irrelevant dance scene for five minutes. It's a nice walk down memory lane (where musicals were a driving force in movies), but they're basically pointless here. And that is how the movie is structured, randoms bits of the Hollywood life are pieced together to create a disjointed experience.

Caesar may have a ton of star power and production designs galore, but it simply lacks the most fundamental aspect a movie requires, entertainment. I wish I could say I found the movie hilarious or thought-provoking or tense, but I can't. Everything here felt half baked and the story that seemed to be at the core felt thin at best. Put simply, the movie is boring (I know using this word is overly simplistic, but it's true, the movie is boring). For a similar, yet superior take on Hollywood in the post war era, watch Trumbo instead.


Comments

  1. Good review for a lackluster movie. I liked it a bit more and was a tad more forgiving (though I'd be lying if I hadn't entertained the idea of giving a lower score than what I did), but it really was one of those film that I think thought it was better than it actually turned out to be. Also surprisingly very messy for a Coen brothers film.

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    1. Yeah I barely enjoyed to 'exciting bits' and wished Channing Tatum had more screen time. But The trailer made it seem far more funny than what was given in the actual movie! Thanks Jordan!

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