This latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen is as quirky as ever – with plenty to make you smile, even if the references to communism are a bit vague and don’t add much to the plot.
The joy of this film lies in the number of Hollywood inside jokes there are to be enjoyed, which cross references a whole number of different genres of films as we follow Eddie Mannix, head of physical production and a ‘fixer’ to keep the scandalous actions of its stars out of the press.
Problems that he has to deal with include the kidnapping of his biggest star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) and the pregnancy of synchronised swimming actress DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson).
Joel and Ethan Coen gives a fascinating insight into the brutal way in which Hollywood can work, with corruption and controlling nature of studios – controlling their stars and their lives to keep a hold on their power and influence.
It is a film that can boast of a high quality range of stars, from George Clooney to Scarlett Johansson to Channing Tatum and Josh Brolin – each having a moment to shine. Particular stand out moments include Channing Tatum singing and dancing and Ralph Fiennes as director Laurence Laurentz trying to teach Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) how to say a particular line.
But at times, particularly during the scenes featuring “The Future” group the plot becomes slightly muddled with its references to communism, lacking in clarity and purpose.
As ever with the Coen brothers, this is a stylish and slickly put together film, one that gets you thinking as much as it entertains. While the narration and to constant sharp changes of scenes can be a little bit disorientating, fans of the Cohen brother’s previous work will not be disappointed.
Hail Caesar! is available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray now on Amazon.