Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
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Another thing I loved about this movie was the performances. Each character felt unique and engaging and that is thanks mostly to the writing but also to the acting. Chris Hemsworth's performance was one that truly astounded me. I don't want to reveal any spoilers but trust me, this role is unlike any other role he's been in. Other than Chris Hemsworth all the other actors were exceptional as well.
Now a reason why I love this movie is that it firstly is a great, I guess you could call, a love letter to Quentin Tarrantino's films. The dialogue is very intriguing as each character seems to have something sinister hidden deep within themselves, and that is mostly expressed through the dialogue. I loved that none of the characters were cliché nice guys and I like how this movie makes you feel like any character could die at any point in the movie. It keeps your attention span and never fails at doing so. I also think it's a nice break from all those reboots, remakes, sequels and adaptations that are crowding cinema's nowadays. It's great to see a unique film like this one. It's sad that there aren't that many original ideas anymore.
Overall this movie most definitely feels like a Quentin Tarrantino fan film. And while it never reaches the level of quality as some of his better films. It does come very close to that mark in my opinion. And that is honestly a high remark especially for a less experienced film maker. All I can say is that this movie is layered with talent all throughout the movie and I'd highly recommend you go see it.
It's a little too long. At times boring. Tries a little too hard to be like Tarantino but doesn't give you the satisfying payoff.
The beginning started off good and had me interested in the characters. But after a while it felt like this movie wasn't going anywhere. There isn't any real twist or turns and it was very predictable as to who was going to survive in the end. I guess the writer had a good idea at start but he didn't know how to end it. Just a bunch of random violence.
So out of a score of 10, I would give it a 5. Right in the middle. Started off good but fizzled out towards the end, especially when Chris Hemsworth's character shows up and slows the movie way down. There is a better movie out there similar to this and it's called Identity. And it has a way better ending.
Bad: At a whopping 2h 20m runtime, the film is a slow burn where it takes a painstakingly long time to make it to the end and even the finale becomes a disappointment. At times it tries to be funny, but the humor is not a standout in this film. There is a lack of emotional pull to the characters which is evident in the finale where the characters are still not fully developed. The concept was there, but the creativity lacked, which ended up in poor execution.
Overall: Style over substance. I wanted to like this movie for the trailer was great with its editing, soundtrack, and cast, but does not live up to Drew Godard's directing predecessor "The Cabin in the Woods," or have the writing creativity from "The Martian." The film reminded me a lot of Quentin Tarantino films as it was divided into chapters and had the same style with flashback stories to gain background, however, I would rather watch "Hateful Eight," or any of Tarantino films that have excellent dialogue and action.
2.9/5 (Not fresh)
Without giving anything away, it's definitely a must see movie in 2018.
If you've seen 'Cabin in the Woods' then you have a good idea of what director Drew Goddard brings to the table. He brings that same sense of style and flare to the El Royale. The film looks great and hooks you in from the start. If I had to describe the feel, I'd say it's Tarantino meets Hitchcock. It takes its time introducing and fleshing out the characters while unfolding the plot in a way that's always interesting. The revelations are put together with a ton of craft and it has a great mix of dark comedy. A little long towards the end but the pay off is worth it.
Speaking of characters, the cast is fantastic. Jon Hamm brings his 'Mad Men' charm along with a dash of great comedic timing. Jeff Bridges gives one of his best roles since 'True Grit' and he has great chemistry with Cynthia Erivo. Their scenes together are some of the best and this is sure to be a breakout role for her. Same goes for Lewis Pullman who plays the Hotel everything(you'll get the joke when you see it) as he delivers a purposefully awkward but strong character. Chris Hemsworth gives us something that we haven't seen from him before but the less said about that, the better. Dakota Johnson and Cailee Spaeny were a mixed bag for me. They had some great scenes but the characters were my least favorite.
Another star in the film is the perfect soundtrack. Not only because of the song choices themselves but also how they are intertwined with the flow and action of the scenes.
If you're looking for something fresh and different, this is one to check out as soon as possible. One of my favorites of the year. Its one that is difficult to review without giving away too much, so I'll just wrap this up. I look forward to watching it again.
8 out of 10.
All the characters were played well by their respective actors, but I do feel at least 20 minutes could've been shaved off the finale without detracting from anything.
Definitely a must see.
The acting was good, but seemingly dialed in at the same time.
Even the ending was one that came at a boring pace. If I hadn't seen it before in many other movies I would have liked it more.
I kept expecting a twist, but just got twists that I saw coming, and I really hate seeing the twists coming a mile away.
If you haven't seen a movie like this before, you will probably enjoy it. But if you've ever seen a QT film, you've seen this one too.
This was a tough review to write because I was expecting at least something new.
This movie ripped off just about every Tarantino movie I've seen off the top of my head. There were elements of Kill Bill story telling, and plot development mixed with basically the same setting as Hateful Eight combined with out of order storytelling from Pulp Fiction and a Reservoir Dogs-esque Mexican stand-off ending. Despite being almost impossible to ignore none of these blatant rip offs negatively impacted the movie for me. The only one that did was how it was a great movie for the first half, and then became horrendous in the second half like From Dusk Till Dawn.
Initially you're presented with a diverse group of relatively dynamic characters whose motivations and connections to each other remain mostly a mystery early on. This combined with a mysterious, and increasingly creepy setting create a very engaging, suspenseful atmosphere. From there the director promptly ruins everything he has going for him one foul move at a time until the audience is either walking out of the theater, snoring, jeeringly laughing out loud at how bad the movie is, or checking mlb playoff scores on their phones (all things I personally experienced in theaters).
First of all, Don Draper....I mean Jon Hamm.....easily has the most enticing storyline out of all the guests. He also does the most to advance what you assume is going to be the central plot line of the movie. However, instead of using this to keep a good thing going, they have him killed off by Dakota Johnson (who looked really hot in her hippy pants). My problem isn't necessarily that he died, even though I would've liked to see more of Don Draper....I mean John Hamm....my problem is how he does, and after he dies they completely drop anything regarding him or his storyline from the movie. First of all, an experienced undercover law enforcement agent is definitely going to secure who he believes to be a violent kidnapper before moving on and freeing a hostage. Instead he ignores her completely, doesn't check for any weapons, and dies. At least give me something more believable. After all, it's what Tarantino would've done. There's no more light shed on the people he was investigating at all, and all in all nothing really comes out of weird porn hotel operation they have going on at the El Royale. The only influence it has on the rest of the movie is vague references to a tape we don't get to see that has JFK committing some heinous sex act on camera. They don't even end up telling us what happens with the tape or who uses it for what it just disappears at the end.
Second of all, for a movie that's 2 and 1/2 hours long we did not need 20 minutes of it to be Darlene aka a blatant Diana Ross reference that gets shoved down your throat a million times like you aren't smart enough to catch it on your own. Her practicing singing in her room...fine. Hemsworth making her sing at the roulette table....fine, but even then can we shorten it up a little bit?
There wasn't too much wrong with Jeff Bridges character other than A.) for a guy with severe Alzheimer's he sure is able to recollect a lot of stuff after being drilled in the head with a glass liquor bottle B.) it seems like he can remember everything except his name C.) I understand him trying to team up with Darlene and explaining himself, but I didn't like how emotional he would get..it just seemed off to me.
Dakota Johnson (man she looked good in those pants) and her sister are another example of this movie taking a good thing and ruining it. The vagueness surrounding her and why she's kidnapped her sister work well when combined with Draper's..........Hamm's.....investigation. Even after Hamm is dead you're still left wondering who her sister called, why they're running away, and why she had to subdue her sister. Despite all this promise they completely and utterly lost me when Hemsworth aka the handsome Marylin Manson strolled into town.
By the time Hemsworth shows up, they've already killed off the best storyline, Darlene has sung for a total of about 4 hours, all mystery surrounding Jeff Bridges is gone, and I'm already sick of Dakota Johnson's seemingly feral sister. The absolute last thing the movie needed was to introduce another character, plus backstory, plus have him slow the movie down to a crawl. On top of that, we definitely didn't need the hotel employee to have a flashback giving us even more backstory on him so he could "save the day" I was perfectly content with heroin addict hotel employee who uses drugs to cope with his traumatizing job. Now he's a Vietnam vet too?! Not to mention I don't believe for a second his ptsd from the war would stop him from at the very least saving the priest he feels such a strong connection to.
After the story was dismantled and I lost interest in all of the characters I was relieved when the final credits rolled. Save your money, don't even bother watching on Netflix, just wait to see Once Upon A Time in Hollywood if you want to see a real Tarantino movie set in the 60's. 4/10