Would That It Were..: A review of Hail, Caeser


The Coen brothers latest is a loving tribute to Hollywood with plenty of clever humour and an engaging series of set pieces but it’s not as good as I wanted it to be.

I went into Hail, Caeser looking forward to it, especially after hearing great things about it, but as I sat in the cinema I felt a little disappointed as I realised I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted to.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s funny and warm, with a great cast, excellent classic Hollywood set pieces and a beautiful look and style to it, yet I wasn’t laughing as much as I thought I would and, in the end, the Film feels like it’s a series of great sketches strung together.

It’s a simple story as we spend the day in the life of a Hollywood fixer as he deals with a kidnapped star, George Clooney, and an interlinking series of other problems in tinsel town.

Everybody is excellent in their exaggerated roles, George Clooney and Alden Ehrenreich especially as slightly dim but very funny stars. Whilst the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes and Channing Tatum round out the supporting cast with performances that aim to parody and hit every sweet spot.

The cinematography, music and direction are all well done in a non-flashy way and the script has wit that doesn’t aim to be flashy or is too clever for its own good, yet, in the end, it all feels a little too much like the Monty Python films, using a plot to thread a bunch of sketches together, despite continuing themes of religion and greed.

Would that it were a Film I loved, rather than liked.

Rating: B-


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