Bad Times Shouldn’t be This Good
Bad Times at The El Royale is the new suspenseful crime thriller directed by Drew Goddard and starting a very well talented ensemble cast of knowns and somewhat unknown actors and actresses.
It’s a gripping tale from the opening scene where an unknown man enters a room and after sometime with him we see him bury a bag of money and not long after is gun down.
10 years later at the El Royale we are introduced too our main cast led by Father Daniel Flynn(Jeff Bridges) and Soul Singer Darlene Sweet(Cynthia Erivo) once inside we meet smooth, fast talking vacuum salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan(Jon Hamm) and the El Royale only employee Miles(Lewis Pullman) while they are getting a bit more familiar with each other Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) arrives and gets the attention of everyone as they all check into their rooms.
Bad Times… unfolds at an steady pace that keeps audiences attention with character flashbacks as well as stories of the hotel’s past which itself is a character in the movie.
Even thought there isn’t one main character a few characters shine through out the movie.
- despite the fact that Bridges will always be The Dude to me no matter what movie he’s in, this is one of the rare times that I don’t see him as The Dude but as Father Flynn aka the man who shouldn’t be there, but actually is in the absolute right place.
What could have been a one dimensional character manages too be made into one of the few characters you find yourself rooting for especially when you find out one of his secrets.
2. Wow! There are a few rare actors/actresses that are new comers that truly have grabbed my attention and probably not since Jennifer Hudson’s star making role in Dream Girls have I been fully wowed by a newcomer.
Erivo being probably the least known of the names here steals very scene she is in, not only is her acting top notch but she has an great singing voice as well.
I really hope when award season comes around her name is one being mentioned for Supporting Actress awards because she is that good here.
3. He probably had the toughest role too play of anyone as he is a young man who is carrying all of the deep dark secrets about the El Royale as well as his own personal secrets around with him.
Similar to Erivo, Pullman is somewhat of a new comer, but if the if the name and face looks a bit familiar that’s because he is the son of actor Bill Pullman and in this movie there are a few scenes where he looks a lot like his father.
The rest of the cast are solid as well in their roles especially Chris Hemsworth as Cult Leader Billy Lee, who doesn’t show up until almost an hour into the film, this is unlike any other character Hemsworth has played before which is much more layered then that of the dancing free spirit you see in the trailers.
I admit I was never the biggest Dakota Johnson fan mainly because of those Fifty Shades…movies, but here she plays a very tough character that is running from her past. Johnson does a good job but something just seems missing in regards too her and her sister Ruth (Cailee Spaeny) who stories are very much linked too that of Billy Lee. I found myself wanting more when it came too those three together.
If there had too be one downside too anything it would have to be Jon Hamm’s role amongst the cast, he basically gets the short end of the stick character wise, even though we find out a few things about him we don’t really get too know him at all. and just as an fyi the biggest of his performance is in the trailer.
Director Drew Goddard(The Cabin In The Woods) crafts an very stylish, crime, film noir, thriller all the while deconstructing all of those genres with how the story unfolds and keeps you guessing about who will survive once a body count begins. and it is probably the best Quentin Tarantino movie that wasn’t written or directed by Tarantino as well.
One of my favorite things about the movie is how certain real life events and some public figures are tied into the story either directly or indirectly. Even though the movie leaves you with a few questions unanswered which for a lot of people probably will be a problem but too use a Father Flynn line “Shit Happens, Get The Whisky”
All In All Bad Times at The El Royale is more than worth the watch, if you like suspense, some dark humor, and some really good acting than you should check out this movie.