Hail, Caesar! takes place during the tail-end of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The film covers the course of a day, exposing the daily struggles of Eddie Mannix, an executive at Capitol Studios. Throughout his day, Eddie must deal with a kidnapped movie star, a pregnant leading lady, and a miscast cowboy amongst an array of other inconveniences. Hail, Caesar! is spot-on when depicting Old Hollywood, often witty and humorous—yet slightly hard to follow. Here are some highlights and shortcomings from the film:
Gorgeous sets and cinematography
Much like the over-the-top productions of Old Hollywood, Hail, Caesar! shows gorgeous sets that rival those of classic films such as Cleopatra and Ben Hur. From the water dancing scene to the crucifixion scene, the sets were larger than life and everything you would expect of Hollywood. What struck me about this film was how vibrant the colors were. The lighting, costumes, and sets really contributed to the radiance of the film. These aspects working together made you feel that you were actually there on a 1950s major film set.
Channing Tatum can REALLY sing!
I was shocked to see how excellent of a singer Channing Tatum was! He has an incredible voice that will make all the ladies swoon. Tatum is making a film in which he is a WWII sailor. He sings a song called “No Dames” and dances an outstanding tap number. Tatum’s performance was personally my favorite part of the movie. It’s a classic musical number that makes everyone want to sing along.
Here’s a short clip from Channing Tatum’s musical number:
Lack of action
I was disappointed in the lack of action within the movie. The film stayed very stagnant, with no climax or height of excitement. At times, it could even get a little boring. The kidnapping of George Clooney’s character in the beginning of the film was the most exciting moment. After that, nothing that intriguing happened.
Difficult to follow
The film could be difficult to follow at times. It hops around a lot, focusing on an array of different characters. However, this constant moving around makes understanding what’s going on a little unclear at times. An especially confusing part deals with Clooney’s character, Baird Whitlock’s, kidnapping. It turns out he has been kidnapped by communists, but their reasons for kidnapping him aren’t clear, and they don’t even end up keeping the ransom. It was a strange series of events that didn’t seem to make sense.
Bringing the 1950s Old Hollywood to life
The film does an amazing job of focusing on the culture of the 1950s and the way the film studios of Old Hollywood functioned in a way that brings to life the era in which the film takes place. Between the focus on communism and the red scare, the outrageous celebrities, the emphasis on the control the film studios had on their stars, and the desperate grasp the studios had to try and preserve the Golden Age of film, Hail, Caesar! transports you back to the time in which the film takes place. Personally, I’m a huge Old Hollywood fan. I really enjoyed the way in which Hail, Caesar! was able to bring this age of film to life in a satirical and witty way.
George Clooney plays the perfect “difficult” movie star
Clooney’s portrayal of Baird Whitlock is hilariously amusing, and SO accurate. He plays your typical insanely talented, yet huge party animal movie star. He loves to have a good time, which can often get in the way of his work, but the studio must put up with it because he’s that good. Clooney does an amazing job and is thoroughly entertaining to watch.
Some really hilarious moments
The film definitely holds some “laugh until you cry” moments. Although it isn’t jam packed full of these, the moments it does have are great and definitely worth waiting for.
Despite some of its shortcomings, Hail, Caesar! is an overall interesting and funny movie that is definitely worth seeing. Especially for those who love or are interested in Old Hollywood, Hail, Caesar! will give you a taste of those classic films and is sure to not disappoint.
Check out the official trailer here:
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‘Hail, Caesar!’ Review: Featured image courtesy of Universal Pictures