After a film star is kidnapped, a Hollywood fixer has to deliver a
ransom while dealing with the release of his company's biggest picture.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Written and Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich,
Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton,
Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill,
Max Baker, Veronica Osorio, Alison Pill
Oscar Nominations - Best Production Design
Hail, Caesar! is the film that finally proved to me that the Coens are human after all, in that they too can make a mistake. This film could've been so much more than it was. It could've shined a real light on serious corruption of 1950's film studios while maintaining their signature comedic wit. Instead, Hail Caesar! feels like the setup to a better movie, one that actually has something to say. Apart from the passable performances, this film almost completely misses its mark and will go down as one of the Coens' weakest projects.
Hail, Caesar! is a day in the life of Hollywood fix-it man Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), who ensures that every actor working out of the Capitol Pictures backlot stays out of trouble and more importantly, that that trouble stays out of the papers. His character is interesting enough, but far blander than what I'm used to with a Coen film. Unlike most of their films, the Coens have very one-dimensional, forgettable characters throughout Hail, Caesar!, excluding Clooney's hilariously over-the-top Baird Whitlock. It feels like the first draft to a movie that looks really, really good. What gets on my nerves is that the trailer promised that movie instead of the one we got.
Don't get me wrong, Hail, Caesar! is by no means a bad movie. It just doesn't live up to its full potential. It has some great moments, but that's all it has. The Coens are miracle workers with their projects. They can make something as hilarious as The Big Lebowski or as dramatic and intense as No Country for Old Men. Hail, Caesar! fails to live up to the incredible bar they've set for themselves. Maybe one day, it will win me over like The Hudsucker Proxy, but right now I wouldn't call myself a fan of it.