Monday, August 15, 2016

HAIL, CAESAR! (2016)

Around a hour or so into HAIL, CAESAR! I thought to myself "What the hell is this movie?"  IMDb lists it as a "Comedy, Mystery", but there's nothing worth more than a smile throughout the entire movie and I have no idea what the mystery portion could have been.  Yeah, there's a kidnapping but we know who the kidnappers are right from the beginning.  Whatever.

Set in the early 1950's, HAIL, CAESAR! is about a Hollywood studio big wig (Josh Brolin).  All day and night, he goes around taking care of production needs and keeping the various studio stars in line.  One day something big comes up when the main star (George Clooney) in the studio's most expensive film disappears off the set.  Is he on a bender?  Shacked up with a dame?  Or maybe even kidnapped by Communists?  So now Brolin has to get his star back while at the same time taking care of various other problems...pregnant single actress, miscast actor, a tempting job offer, etc...it's all very blah.

I love classic Hollywood with all of my heart and I was excited to see a modern day film set back in 1950's Hollywood, but HAIL, CAESAR! is a dud.  It looks nice, but the story was all over the place with no true center or even likeable characters.  I kept waiting and waiting for something to develop, then I realized that the movie is already 3/4's done and it's still just flailing around like a boat lost in a storm.

With so much talent (both in front and behind the camera) I was expecting a delightful throwback mystery-comedy, kinda like the wonderful THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION, but that didn't happen.  Instead HAIL, CAESAR! simply putters along and leaves more questions than it answers.  On the bright side I really enjoyed the performances of Alden Ehrenreich and Veronica Osorio.  They were both great. Also the lighting was nice.
Is that a white SUV off to the right?