Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Aldren Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum
Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Written By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2016
Summary: Set in 50's, a Hollywood studio fixer sets off to find a lead actor for a movie called Hail, Caesar after he gets kidnapped.
My Thought: I really wanted to like this movie. God, I did. I just didn't though. There's a great cast and great subplots which I didn't expect from it, but what else was there? Nothing much. Okay, I'm very much familiar with the Coen Brothers' work, but with more of their serious work like A Serious Man or Inside Lleywn Davis, rather than their comedic work and I'm a Cinema major, so I appreciated the tributes to all of old Hollywood such as Channing Tatum's whole sailor dance scene in reference to Gene Kelly or Scarlett Johansson's mermaid water scene in reference to Esther Williams' stuff. This movie was literally everything I learned in my Film History class all mashed together in a film and I picked up on that, so I feel like if you enjoy film and understand the background of the time period it's set in, in relation to film, of course, then you will probably get a lot more from this movie. If you don't, you'll just be like, Okay? And then the movie just becoming another movie, not the giant tribute to the 50's that it is.
And that's the thing, I didn't hate the movie, I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. Sure, I picked up at the things they were trying to say about Hollywood in the 50's, but other than that there wasn't much substance there. All these subplots and characters we're eventually introduced while the main plot is developing kind of mean nothing in relation to the film as a whole. It was funny and the rapid fire dialogue between a lot of the characters was funny and constantly snappy. I loved that aspect of it, but what they were going on about really didn't develop into anything else and I wish it had. It probably would've made the movie better, in my opinion, but we're stuck with lots of big names being in the movie roughly about 5 to 7 minutes each, never to be seen or heard from again afterwards, which sucks because their characters could've had more to them and brought something else to the table.
And so, filled with reference after reference, Hail Ceasar! is a film that celebrates old Hollywood and it does that well. Everything else, not so much. It's not for everyone and that's what brings the movie down and even so, those who do get the references like myself, may find it lacking in any substance whatsoever.