Joel and Ethan Coen (collectively known as the Coen Brothers) are two of the finest living filmmakers working today. Since the 1980s, these auteurs have made their mark on cinema history by supplying audiences with dark comedies and dramas that are not only entertaining but thought-provoking and very smart. Their style is unmatched by any other writer or director and they almost always hit the mark with expert detail and exquisite precision. From 1984’s Blood Simple up until 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis, they definitely know what they’re doing and each film is brilliant evidence of that. Unfortunately however, their latest effort, the tongue-in-cheek period comedy Hail Caesar! doesn’t live up to the hype and is one of the Coen Brothers’ weaker efforts. It tries hard and does contain very humorous bits of comedy sprinkled throughout but is a lackluster film at best and not one the Coen Brothers’ better entries.
Over the past decade, actors Jonah Hill and James Franco have demonstrated a strong and rather consistent pattern of likable comedic performances. However, the two actors have also shown great ability in the realm of drama as well. They are both talented enough to tackle each genre with range and professionalism and whenever they delve into more serious works, audiences are almost always in for a real treat. Sadly, their new film True Story isn’t such a case. Here we have two solid actors who have attempted to make greatness but due to a dull script and uninspired direction, we have a movie that is completely devoid of any type of spark. This is truly unfortunate given the film’s very talented stars.