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Hail, Caesar! Review


Thankfully, a comma and an exclamation mark go a long way to stopping the confusion between this and the woeful 1994 comedy Hail Caesar. Well, there is that, and not to mention the likes of George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johannson, Channing Tatum, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes and one of the finest ensemble casts in some time. And that's before you put the Coen Brothers name on the poster. 

Brolin plays a Hollywood fixer, similar to the likes of Ray Donovan, albeit a bit more classy with less violent tendencies. When the studio's biggest star, Baird Whitlock (Clooney) goes missing during a shoot, things get a bit more problematic (we're going spoiler free here) for Eddie Mannix (Brolin)

Fans of bygone Hollywood days will lap this up. From the characters, to the dialogue, not to mention some wonderful colour correction (we're geeks, what can I say) Hail, Caesar! looks incredible. You probably won't find a more authentic looking "period" movie about a period movie. Right from the word go, things thunder along at hilarious pace, with quite a number of laugh out loud moments thrown in for good measure. But we're not talking slapstick here, we're talking Coen Brothers comedy, which can be an acquired taste for some, although it's a bit more accessible here.

So, this should be a winner then. Sadly, no. Hail, Caesar! comes close to being a masterpiece in places, but an incredibly disjointed middle act is the movie's downfall. The 1st act is rather brilliant, but the middle is laborious, tedious and seems to drag on forever, with boring dialogue, boring scenes and a terrible disconnection to the rest of the movie. In fact, the middle act does a good job of destroying the wonderful first act, and by the time things settle down again for the rather rushed finale, it's quite difficult to get back into the movie.

The cast are impeccable, as you'd expect. Clooney plays a pretty phenomenal parody of the golden age Hollywood superstar, and the supporting cast, especially Alden Ehrenreich (who is sublime) are a sight to behold time and time again, even if Ralph Fiennes is channelling his role in The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

Unfortunately, the aforementioned middle act derails and otherwise solid, clever and funny movie. However, it's still worth a punt!


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The Movie Bit: Hail, Caesar! Review
Hail, Caesar! Review
The Movie Bit
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