The Coen Brothers have done it again with this glorious tribute to old Hollywood. Hail, Caesar! is a hilarious watch with a gripping narrative.
Studio big wig, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), scrambles around trying to run Capitol Pictures as problem after problem presents itself. The kidnapping and ransom of Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the major star in an upcoming epic, is particularly challenging but all in day’s work for Mannix.
This movie is filled with the romance of Hollywood’s golden age, with a twisted comical edge. Set in the early 1950s, there are hints of the upcoming collapse of the studio system, but it’s not really as serious as all that. There’s a full-blown, over the top, tap dance sing-along reminiscent of Gene Kelly’s work, and an amazing aquatic musical number that can only be a direct tribute to MGM’s movies with Esther Williams. There’s also some classic Western action and a Ben Hur-esque historical epic from which the movie takes its title.
At times Hail, Caesar! feels more like a Wes Anderson film than one from the Coen Brothers, with its beautiful sets, quirky and eccentric characters, light humour and sense of adventure. But Coen fans need not be disappointed, this is still a wonderful movie and Anderson would be proud.
The film starts off a little slow, but quickly picks up the pace after a marvellously funny scene between Ralph Fiennes and Alden Ehrenreich, which sets the tone for the rest of the movie. No expense is spared, as an all-star cast fills every second of screen time. Some recognisable faces even appear to have been cast just to sit around and make brief cameos. Ultimately, the cast is fantastic and while it’s a shame that some of the stars don’t have larger parts, the ones that do are brilliant.
Hail, Caesar!, although a little different from their usual gritty style, is another hit for the Coen Brothers. They combine epic sets, an epic cast and epic themes with humorous characters and situations to produce a wonderfully quirky and engaging movie.
Hail, Caesar! is released nationwide on 4th March 2016.
Watch the trailer for Hail, Caesar! here: