‘Hail, Caesar!’ (2016, 12A)

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, ‘Hail, Caesar!’ is a film with a plot like no other. It is far from strong however some points of the story can be entertaining whereas some of the jokes fall flat and I found myself bored in the theatre at some scenes.

The film mainly follows Eddie Mannix, the Head of Production at Capitol Pictures, although the large cast and amount of characters sometimes makes it hard to follow what’s going on where. The main plot is that Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped from the set of Capitol Pictures’ Hail, Caesar! and Mannix has to find him as well as dealing with other problems and scandals happening at his company.

However, this part of the film only really takes up a quarter of the running-time and the rest of it is taken up with pointless scenes there only to make the film longer and add some comedy. Take, for instance, the character DeeAnna Moran (played by Scarlett Johansson): she appears in two scenes of absolutely no relevance to the main story which could’ve been cut out and save the audience the wait to get back to the main plot. Also, scenes from fictional films that Capitol Pictures had in production in the film took up running time such as the Sailor Scene – four or five minutes of sailors dancing around, singing and laughing which had absolutely nothing to do with the story. Save one, none of the people in this scene would be seen again and that one could’ve been squeezed into the film at some other point.

Things such as this reminded me slightly of ‘Zoolander 2’ in which many famous actors and stars appear in pointless roles who pose no importance to the plot. This was the same with Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum and Ralph Fiennes, all having appeared in major roles in successful films but now only appearing in small scenes of little or no significance in ‘Hail, Caesar!’. It seemed liked someone had tried to squeeze as many Hollywood superstars into the film as possible, probably just to put their names in advertising and boost the potential audience for the film.

The film did have a few redeeming features, although they were few and far between – some of the scenes were actually quite funny. Although they didn’t have me in hysterics, some of the arguments and quips had me chuckling and even thinking of the overall plot and its many flaws and weaknesses made me laugh.

Overall, ‘Hail, Caesar!’ is far from brilliant and for me has too big a cast and too many characters to make it enjoyable. The outlandish plot can at some points be funny but for me it just seemed like a twenty-minute film with an hour-and-twenty of pointless and sometimes boring scenes. For this, I’d give ‘Hail, Caesar!’ a five-out-of-ten, a good effort with some funny scenes but too many blockbuster stars and too little quality scenes for me.



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