Hail, Caesar!

Hail,_Caesar!_Teaser_poster

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Quote from February 2016’s edition of movies to see:

“This could be charming and funny, or it could be a bit of a dud, but it has a great looking cast.”

Star studded movies can be questionable. You would think with concentrated amounts of star power that even when one is not shinning so bright that the others would help pick up the slack. From the preview I kind of assumed that it was Ralph Fiennes that was the main character of the film or the “fixer” which I was looking forward to. In fact this roll is played by Josh Brolin who plays Eddie Mannix. I must admit that I could not even tell you any movies that Josh Brolin stars in but of course I recognized his name. I feel slightly ashamed after watching the movie that I wasn’t more familiar with him.

The film takes place in Hollywood in the 1950’s. Mannix works for Capital Pictures as the “fixer”. His job is to be on top of all the projects and the actors/actresses. He knows all their business before anyone else does and he knows what to do in case of an emergency. His skills are well known as one company in particular is pushing for him to accept a position with their company to help manage the people, projects and give their business that boost he has given to Capital Pictures. While struggling to decide whether or not to accept the position he is trying to find the balance between work and his home life while babysitting the young bright stars and starlets. As with most young people with lots of money and status they often do stupid things or make unwise decisions that must be covered up or kept secret. While rival sisters (both played by Tilda Swinton) chase Eddie for the latest scoop and a chance at a golden interview, as if keeping all the actors/actresses private lives hidden from the public,  spinning stories and fabricating tales to build publicity wasn’t difficult enough as it is, one of the main actors from the studio goes missing.  Clooney, who plays Caesar in the production companies biggest film “Hail, Caesar!” (hence the title), is kidnapped by a mysterious group known as “The Future”. For a handsome ransom of $100,000 Eddie tries to keep everything running as smoothly as possible while everything around him threatens to crack and crumble.
I really enjoyed Josh Brolin in this film. His character was slick, engaging and always had something to say that was timed perfectly. Tilda Swinton is a bit of an odd duck, but you can’t help but like her for her uniqueness and what she brings to any film. Believe it or not I had assumed that Clooney would have been the star of the film and help carry it, but I found him to be rather dull. He was basically just there while everyone else around him was working. We all know at least one of those people in a workplace, and yet he was still the “star of the show”. Following Brolin I really enjoyed Alden Ehrenreich who plays Hobie Doyle, a young western film star who is branching out so he is not seen as just a one trick pony. He is a good old country boy with a strong southern accent which creates some enjoyable scenes between him and director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Although our next actor has more screen time than expected and fits into the storyline perfectly, his story seems more of an afterthought; something added for a little extra humour as well as some eye candy.  Channing Tatum plays an actor named Burt Gurney, his main scene consisting of a song and dance routine as a navy soldier in a bar.
My opinion on the film is pretty much where I expected it to land, but perhaps a bit further over the fence towards enjoyable. Often times these types of films are hyped and full of awards, but in the end you feel blasé and could have easily done without it. More commonly you would have fallen asleep and questioned how much longer could it possibly have gone on. I would definitely not call it a mainstream film for all audiences. If you are watching Hail, Caesar! It is for the experience of the multitude of stars and their acting styles in this one stop shop film.

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