I mentioned at the end of my Big Lebowski review that it was the first film I’d seen from the Coen brothers. After posting the review on Facebook I was told I should see more of their films and it just so happens they brought out a film this year.
The film has some really impressive visuals with well put together recreations of how films made in the 50s actually looked and played out and there are some great scenes that showcase this love for film. However the film itself is just ok. Much like Lebowski the film is enjoyable but lacks focus and that can be a problem with a large cast like this. Many characters that the trailers seem to imply will have a huge role are only in a small handful of scenes with character arcs either being rushed or left unresolved.
A good example of this would be Scarlett Johansson’s character who has about two or three scenes with the majority of her story happening off-screen and being told to us by other characters including the resolution of her role in the film which is honestly completely pointless to the film as a whole. Also when we learn who the main villain is the reveal means nothing because the character only really had one scene that only existed as a nod to 50s films but wasn’t really of any importance and told us nothing about that character.
Some scenes also dragged on a big too long, especially ones that really didn’t matter in the long run. There’s the “would that it were so simple” scene, which actually takes up an entire trailer, started out funny but then they just kept going. It honestly felt like these scenes were stretched out to justify hiring big name actors like Ralph Fiennes for really minor roles except you also have Jonah Hill who is on the poster I used for the featured image despite only having one scene with barely any lines.
Maybe this would have been better as a short film or as a TV series that gave its wide cast the attention they needed or maybe I just don’t get the appeal of the Coen brothers. It’s hard to say. I’ll consider watching another film or two from them next year.