These days films based around ancient Greek mythology are few and far between. When we do get something it is more along the reboot of Clashof the Titans. But every once in a while you get a movie that attempts to bring one of the classics to life. This time Joel and Ethan Coen took one of the most epic adventures ever written and turned it into a 1930s style screwball comedy road trip film. How the heck was this going to turn out?
Ulysses Everett (George Clooney), Pete Hogwallop (John Tuturro) and Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) just escaped from a chain gang and are one the run! Everett know where a treasure is buried, and he is leading his comrades to its location. Along the way they are pursued by a determined sheriff (who may be Satan), encounter lovely sirens, do battle with a giant one eye bible salesman, and get mistaken for a trio of black singers.
Through the long journey, Everett is hiding a secret from his friends. His true goal it to get back home to his loving wife Penny, and protect her from an aggressive suitor. But there are dangers around every corner including a run in with George “Babyface” Nelson (Michael Badalucco), a lynch mob and the lotus eaters… I mean a Baptist congregation. Can our man of constant sorrow make it back home and find the treasure?
- A wonderful merging of “The Odyssey” and 1930s filmmaking
- Fun performances by the entire cast
- Lot of humor and quotable dialogue throughout
- If you are not a fan of old time country music this movie will hurt
- Major liberties taken with the source material
- The screwball style may not appeal to everyone
This movie surprised the hell out of me. I managed to catch it about halfway through and it just pulled me in (in spite of not liking country music much at all). I made a point to rent the film and see it from the beginning and it has been a favorite ever since. The style of the film combined with “The Odyssey” is like chocolate and peanut butter. It is endlessly quotable, has so many fun performances and just leaves you with a smile on your face. Makes for a fun double feature with The Hudsucker Proxy.
Scores (out of 5)
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