Directed by: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen.
Written by: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen.
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johansson.
Running time: 106 Minutes.
The Coen brothers follow up 2013’s Inside Llewyen Davis with this goofy take on 1950s Hollywood featuring an all star cast. Hail, Caesar! opens with Josh Brolin’s Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer, at confession and we learn that his day job, keeping all the stars in line, stresses him out a lot. If he’s not trying to keep a Hollywood starlet’s pregnancy out of the tabloids he’s attempting to solve the kidnapping of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. It’s all in a day’s work for Mannix.
One of the best things Hail, Caesar! has going for it is its wonderful cast. From George Clooney to Scarlett Johansson to Tilda Swinton, the film is chock-full of A-list stars each having their own moment to shine (though it may be a brief moment for some.) Clooney plays the studio’s kidnapped star, Baird Whitlock, who is kidnapped from the set of the studio’s biggest film of the year, Hail, Caesar! Clooney is a staple of the Coen’s goofy comedy’s from O Brother, Where Art Thou? to Burn after Reading (an underrated gem) Clooney works well in the worlds the Coen’s create. Johansson has a smaller role than Clooney, but still manages to leave an impression as she plays Hollywood’s sweetheart, who in reality is a tough talking Brooklyn girl attempting to keep her recent pregnancy out of the tabloids as she makes a musical mermaid film. It feels slightly similar to her Don Jon performance, but proves just as entertaining.
The star of the film however is easily newcomer Alden Ehrenreich who plays the star of western films, Hobie Doyle. Ehrenreich has some of the most hilarious scenes of the film, especially when paired onscreen with Ralph Fiennes. In a sense Ehrenreich’s performance is a star making turn as an actor at the stage in his career Ehrenreich is at after this film.
Though the film may be slightly on the thin side in relation to plot, the hilarity of almost every scene more than makes up for this. An example of such a scene involves Channing Tatum as a tap dancing sailor, which is one of the strangest scenes I’ve seen in cinema recently, this is coming from a person that has seen The Witch. Hail, Caesar! may not be one of the Coen’s best, it’s certainly one of their funniest. It feels like they made a movie to have fun this time, and surprisingly makes for a very fun time for the audience, too.
Verdict: With a cast to die for, with Alden Ehrenreich as the standout, and some of the funniest scenes in recent memory Hail Caesar! is most likely the best comedy currently in cinemas. Not the Coen’s best, but probably their most fun film.
Hail, Caesar! is currently in cinemas.