Plain, Simple Tom (briefly) reviews . . . “Hail Caesar!” (2016)

So I went to see “Hail Caesar!” yesterday, ultimately encouraged by Kermode and Mayo’s glowing review of it (and the fact that it was on my “Films to see in 2016” list!) I was expecting a wacky, goofy laugh riot of a film but I sadly have to report that this was not the case.

I can honestly say that I didn’t laugh once, though I did smile at certain points, most noticeably at Channing Tatum’s song and dance number and the often played “would that it were so simple” part, both scenes I actually enjoyed more when I watched/listened to them beforehand. So in terms of comedic value, the film was sadly disappointing. I think that “Hail Caesar!” proves that Coen Brothers films have become too formulaic; this film shares certain similarities to “Burn After Reading” and “Intolerable Cruelty”, perhaps unfortunately.

Oh, and the Michael Gambon narration really is a bit naff and pointless.

However, I will say that Alden Ehrenreich is indeed wonderful; he is definitely the star of the show, with his lasso twirling, guitar playing and other engaging wild west antics. Josh Brolin is also a strong lead, confidently holding the film together and getting the audience interested in his troubles and predicaments. This film definitely works better as a drama, with its “Big Sleep” film noir style.

All in all, “Hail Caesar!” has its heart in the right place, lovingly recreating a golden age in Hollywood, but unfortunately, it’s just not funny!

3 Stars

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