|George Clooney in Joel and Ethan Coen's Hail Caesar!|
Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, may be their most lacklustre film to date. The story, set in 1951, revolves around the goings-on when movie star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped and harried studio executive Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) has to retrieve him before the plug has to be pulled on the studio's expensive Biblical epic, Hail, Caesar!: The Story of the Christ, which stars Whitlock. Hail, Caesar! has a lot of potential as a screwball comedy, skewering as it does everything from self-centered actors to pretentious directors to the leftist politics of the time but the movie is pretty much dead on arrival. The actors are bored and mostly boring, the set pieces, made up fake movies of various genres, musicals, high comedies, Westerns etc., are flat and unimaginative, and the whole production barely makes a comedic ripple. Remember how disinterested and indifferent the Coens were when they won the Best Picture Oscar for No Country for Old Men? Imagine a movie made with that same spirit of ennui and you have Hail, Caesar! in a nutshell.