The Coen Brothers can be tricky – whilst their hit rate is very high their mis-steps are usually spectacular, Intolerable Cruelty & The Ladykillers lacking that essential Coen Brothers Thing (much like wanting a Barton Fink film to be, well, Barton Fink). Add to this the fact that their latest has been described as being closest in tone to The Big Lebowski – a film that whilst I can see the appeal of I’ve never had much time for – and I wasn’t looking forward ot this in the same way that I was No Country For Old Men. I expected it to be good, but not great.
So pleasently surprised that it’s their funniest film since Raising Arizona, but tempered slightly by the characterisation that Fargo had. It also has a lot more plot than people seem to be giving it credit for, try to unravel it and it becomes apparent that this must have been a bugger to piece together.
Kudos must go mainly to the cast – all of whom are entirely either unlikeable or plain stupid for the most part – throwing themselves into the spirit of it all, especially Pitt’s gym flunky who may be one of the most half-witted creations to grace the screen, all manic energy like Twelve Monkeys but with non of the insight. Clooney also turns on a greasy charm to be the flip-side of the charming womaniser his image normally shows in these roles, he’s charming but you wouldn’t introduce him to your wife. Once again the Coen’s wrote the roles with the actors in mind – presumably this is easy when your reputation means you can get a $40 million cast for a fraction of the price.
If you haven’t liked previous efforts then this won’t convert you in the way that Country may have. Other