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MOVIE REVIEW: BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

| 8 February 2019 | Reply

MOVIE REVIEW: BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
Written & directed by Drew Goddard
Starring Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
90%

Ten years after a bag full of stolen cash was hidden under the floorboards of a room at the El Royale and it’s erstwhile owner gunned down, a group of disparate strangers check in to the hotel one fateful, stormy night.

A bi-state establishment – half in California, half in Nevada – The El Royale’s former Rat Pack glory days have long since faded and it is now a front for various nefarious enterprises, not least of which involves and secret corridor with one way mirrors allowing the resident clerk to film private shenanigans in each room.

The film brings a priest (Jeff Bridges in a masterful turn), a vacuum salesman (an edgy Jon Hamm), a hippy chick (Dakota Johnson) and a cabaret singer (Cynthia Erivo) together with jittery clerk Miles Miller (Lewis Pullman) – but not all are as they appear, and all have something to hide.

Room by room we learn more about these five and edge closer and closer to an epic climax involving Charles Manson-esque cult leader Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) arriving on the scene.

This is stylish noir pulp crime storytelling in the clever, grand tradition of Pulp Fiction, right down to the Tarantino-cool ‘60s soundtrack, sharp dialogue and expert rationing of the back stories of the main characters. With plenty of twists and turns and so many surprises that we can’t tell you much more about the plot, Bad Times At The El Royale is one of the most engrossing and entertaining crime thrillers we’ve seen in ages.

Shane

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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