When future civilizations speak of Joel and Ethan Coen’s contributions to the cinema, they will likely cite 1991 “Barton Fink” as the most important assignment for the film business’s screenwriting and directing siblings. Still, a completely different project by the Coen Brothers, “Hail Caesar!” vibrates closer to the same wavelength as “Tropic Thunder”. Like “Tropic”, this 2016 lark has a top-class cast and is literally and figuratively brighter than the comparatively muted and unnerving “Barton Fink”. Also “Heil, Caesar!” Includes several great Hollywood actors playing imaginary movie stars: George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Jonah Hill, and Frances McDormand all take part in the action. Story-wise “Heil, Caesar!” contains an honest communist conspiracy, a secret pregnancy, and Channing Tatum singing and dancing in an old-fashioned sailor costume.
Some people may argue that while Ben Stiller is doing his best and has achieved a lot in his career to be proud of, he is still not in the same league as the Coens. Because of the superior skills of its creative minds, “Hail, Caesar!” is a much grander, refined, better executed version of the same basic concept as “Tropic Thunder” – essentially a fictional prestige Hollywood production hampered by its star’s limited self-esteem. So if you really like Tropic Thunder, then it stands to reason that you might like this one even more.