What can I say about the Coen Brothers that has not been said before? They are geniuses, masters of the cinema arts, comparable to the greats in terms of scope and volume. Maybe in the future some of their more indulgent movies will be seen as groundbreaking, but even the most adamant fanboy can't recommend Hail, Caesar! near even the middle of their list.
The time is the 1950s and the place is Hollywood. Fixer Josh Brolin is looking to get out of the stars-in-trouble biz but has to go one more day in his wacky job. Of course during this last day, communists kidnap the star (Clooney) of the big picture and hold him ransom. Add in a mess of random happenings and colorful characters and the ride is on.
The Coen Brothers movies rank up there with pizza and sex. Even when it isn't good, it's still funny and with a charming amount of cheese. The bright veneer of the studio system in its decline is magical. Characters bounce and burn out all over this movie. The script is loose enough to allow for some weird tangents and dance numbers while remaining tight enough so you don't wonder what's happening.
Still, this is kind of a mess. Too many balls are in the air and not covered enough to represent an interesting whole. I wanna like and recommend this, but this movie was better when it was Hudsucker Proxy.