I’ve put off writing this review because, to be honest, I don’t know what to write. Hail, Caesar! is my first Coen Brothers film and I was definitely unprepared. My boyfriend (another film fanatic) reassured me by saying, “If you’re confused, that’s okay. That’s just their thing.” So I felt better, but still had a lack of words. So I apologise if this blog doesn’t quite make sense – I’m still not quite sure if I liked it, hated it, I’m confused by it or I should just forget about it.
Anyway, let’s dive in.
If I was to only use one word to describe Hail, Caesar!, it would be “wacky.” I can think of no better word. From the setting, to the costumes, to the acting, it’s all just… Wacky. On the other hand, if I was to write many words to describe Hail, Caesar!, it would be “a spoof that pokes fun at Hollywood with lots of spoofs inside the spoof.”
Do you follow? I’m not sure I do.
When the film first started, and my ears were greeted with a voiceover, I internally groaned. Yes, I’m one of those snobs that dislikes voiceovers – bite me for having taste. But, since I knew Hail, Caesar! was film about films, I assumed it was a film within a film I was watching.
… Hm. Still following?
However, it wasn’t a film within a film I was watching. I was watching The Film. A cheesy, typical opening of a crime thriller to be precise (which the film is nothing like, let me reassure you). I have to say, I was a bit confused and disappointed. I found it difficult to see where one spoof ended and another began. I expected the film to have pockets of spoofs throughout – for example, whenever a movie set was included, and that genre would get a ribbing – but it was more of an overall spoof of everything Hollywood.
Has spoof stopped looking like a word, or is that just to me?
So, for me personally, I found the film lost something. I feel it would’ve had more of an effect on me if they kept the fun-poking to a minimum. I understand Hail, Caesar! is meant to be a comedy, but I didn’t laugh as much as I expected. There were some funny moments – like the scene with many religious leaders arguing about Jesus Christ – but there were also some cheap laughs. I’m not sure if I’m missing the point, or it was meant to be some deeper joke, but using the same actress as two different characters and calling them sisters isn’t exactly funny anymore. I’m not sure if that was another jab at Hollywood, but I found it predictable and tedious. That’s the kind of humour you find in an amateur church play, not for the screen.
But what about the actors? How was the performance? Well, I have to say I was disappointed with the amount of time we got to spend with some of them. On the GFT website, the poster for Hail, Caesar! is of Scarlett Johansson. She stood smiling in the trailers along with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. However, she only occupied two scenes – one of which was with Jonah Hill who only had (roughly) two lines. I felt a bit cheated in a way, but I guess that’s more a jibe at marketing than the film itself.
It has to be said though, Channing Tatum stole the show. His dancing, his singing, his cute little sailor’s outfit, along with so much gay undertones, I was sold in a heartbeat. I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying the movie until Tatum took to the set. He was incredible. His over-the-top acting was perfect and I found myself in a pit of giggles. The movie is worth it for that scene alone.
However, when it comes to plot, well, I can’t really say I was too impressed. Where was the plot? That’s what the characters should’ve been searching for instead of George Clooney. I felt a bit frustrated with the whole set up. However, as my boyfriend said, “If you just go with the flow, you’ll probably enjoy it.” And that’s all I could really do.
At the end of the day Hail, Caesar! is a comedy. I found myself laughing so I guess it must have done its job. Is it the best film of the year? Can’t say it will be – Finding Dory is still to come out. However, guessing from the lack of movement as the credits rolled, I think it was a winner at the GFT that night.
Each to their own after all.
Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment with your thoughts – Evee x