I recently saw Hail Cesar and am still trying to decide if I liked it or not. The movie takes place in the early 50's on the set of a big Hollywood movie studio. The film pays homage to Westerns, musicals, and epic dramas like Ben Hur. As I watched many of the scenes I couldn't help but think how my parents and older audiences would enjoy the tribute to the golden age of Hollywood.
I didn't know much about this movie before seeing it. The trailer briefly shows a movie star being kidnapped and held for ransom and it looked kind of funny.When I saw that it was a Cohen movie I was thinking along the lines of Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona, True Grit, Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, etc., but this movie seemed to lack some of the usual quirkiness and humor we've seen in other Cohen movies.
The entire cast was talented but I really liked Josh Brolin's performance as Mannix, the busy Hollywood executive who is swamped the entire movie trying to clean up messes and juggle responsibilities. I'm not sure why Jonah Hill got top billing on the poster with the others since his scene was more of a cameo. It kind of reminded me of how much screen time Mark Hammil got in the recent Star Wars film.
Hail Cesar had some entertaining parts, good performances, and nice tributes, but it just didn't seem to go anywhere or wrap things up at the end. This movie addressed such topics as capitalism, communism, Christianity, Hollywood, tabloids, etc. but I was never sure what was satire and what was not. I'm not sure what the movie's message was supposed to be so it kept me wondering about it long after the movie was over but not in a good way like you do with Inception or Intersteller.
For confusing me more than entertaining me I only give it 6.5 stars....I think?