Movie Review – Hail, Caesar!

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Working as a Hollywood ‘Fixer’ is a thankless but necessary job. For Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) solving every problem involving Capitol Studios, is all in a day’s work. The big production on set is “Hail, Caesar”, starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). The sword and sandals epic (akin to Ben-Hur) that is eerily similar to the 2016 Sony release ‘Risen’, is nearly finished. The final scene, where Baird gives his final monologue remains to be shot and Baird is nowhere to be found. Abducted by a group known only as ‘The Future’, Mannix must produce a ransom of $100k. That’s only the beginnings of his troubles. 

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All over the lot problems arise and the straight lipped Mannix handles all with ease. Every snap decision made is the right one, as Mannix remains as cool as a cucumber. There’s a lot of star power in Hail, Caesar, ultimately their roles are reduced to being glorified cameo roles. Jonah Hill is in the trailer, but that is his only scene in the film. His is one of many ‘blink and you’ll ’em’ appearances. Observed individually, There are many stand alone moments in Hail, Caesar that shine. Concerned about offending the religious community, Mannix meets with members of the Catholic and Jewish faith in a tremendously funny scene. However, there are moments that are neither fun nor entertaining, making Hail, Caesar a bit of a mixed bag. 

There are those that are enticed by the Cohen Brothers name and will see the film anyway. There are those who love or lived through the Golden Age of Hollywood and have more of an appreciation for the period will see the film anyway. I’m not one of those people and found Hail, Caesar to be as funny as it is dull. Typically for a Cohen Brothers film, the sets look fantastic. Using several Hollywood back lots as sets, Hail, Caesar looks and feels like 1951 Hollywood. One of the many bright spots for this quirky film, that felt a bit too disjointed to be a day in the life of the vintage Hollywood. 

Verdict: C

Rated: PG-13 @107 mins

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