Traveling an hour out of town in frigid weather, I was on my way to a screening of Hail, Caesar! Frustratingly enough, finding a screening for this movie can be something of a chore, depending on where you live. The question is: was this movie worth the effort?
My initial reaction to the movie was “meh”, but I have since given my experience more thought, and I suspect time will reform my opinion of this movie for the better.
Much like The Big Lebowski (another film by the Coen brothers), I suspect Hail, Caesar! to be the type of movie appreciated more through repeat viewings. The story itself isn’t particularly gripping, and many of the subplots don’t tie in to each other very well. Where the film excels is in finding the right dosage of wit and absurdity. The more I reflect on the movie, the more fondly I remember the interactions between the film’s colourful characters.
With a cast including George Clooney, Josh Brolin and Tilda Swinton, the acting is solid. Lines are delivered with the same cheesy energy I loved in The Big Lebowski, and I may have seen the only tap dancing scene in my life I ever enjoyed.
For fear of spoiling any of the comic reveals of the movie, I’ll refrain from delving too deep. However, as to the question of if it was worth the trip, I would give a solid “yes”. Mainstream comedy, with its reliance on hacking at obvious premises, can get dry, so it’s refreshing to have a solid character-driven comedy to break up the mundanity.
If you’re in the mood to experiment with a movie, give Hail, Caesar! a try. If you want a safe bet for laughs, Netflix has plenty of excellent stand-up routines in the library.