Review: Bad Times at the El Royale
He's all kinds of bad.
The El Royale is a hotel along the California/Nevada boarder. Tonight, several strangers meet for the first time. A vacuum salesman (Jon Hamm) a lounge singer (Cynthia Erivo) a priest (Jeff Bridges) and a woman who signs the ledger with a polite "fuck you." (Dakota Johnson) Everyone there has a secret that's not going to stay hidden for much longer.
Anything written/directed by Drew Goddard is an easy sell for me. I loved his script for The Martian and what he's done with the Daredevil TV series. Not to mention The Cabin in the Woods, which he directed is one of my all time favorite horror films. He takes on a lot with El Royale.
This film would've been much better suited as an eight episode or so mini series. There is so much stuffed into this movie that you feel every minute of its 2 hour and 21 minute run time. You get quick back stories of each character, but it's not enough, and yet too much at the same time. By the time we flashed back to the final too, I was almost impatient, even though you absolutely
needed to see both of them. Had this been an episodic series, each character could've gotten the history they deserve and it wouldn't fee like too much because you would only be getting an hour at a time. The two strangers that have the most potential back story wise are killed off pretty quickly after they're introduced.
Cynthia Erivo is the star of this film. Darlene is absolutely stunning and she also felt the most fleshed out since her reason for being at the hotel was pretty straight forward. While the rest of the film likely won't make an appearance, I hope her name does come Oscar season. All of the other actors do a good job as well. All those reviewers that called Hemsworth "Dangerously sexy" were spot on.
Even though it has its issues, I still enjoyed the hell out of watching it. It's shot beautifully and has a catchy sound track.
Memorable Quote: "If you find him, let me speak with him first." - Miles (Lewis Pullman)