Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

I really enjoyed this one. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first went in. It was a great mix of twists and thrills, action and drama and suspense and tension with a little bit of humor/sarcasm thrown in. Billed as the story of four strangers who check into the El Royale Hotel (who’s only employee is a lone desk clerk) in the early 1970s…all of whom have a secret and those secrets will intertwine at the deserted hotel. I liked getting the characters backstories and seeing how they all connected.

I was surprised that this was a part where I finally thought Dakota Johnson was decent and not just blah like usual. Jeff Bridges was great as usual…that dude is just cool AF! It was fun seeing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) play a crazy bad guy (and the abs and pecks weren’t bad either LOL). Cynthia Erivo was good too (this was my intro to her work)…I loved that she didn’t get outshined by the other big name in the film…I look forward to big things from her (obviously I saw and wrote this review prior to her “Harriet” performance LOL). Jon Hamm plays a great asshole, funny guy. But I think that Lewis Pullman (son of “Mr. President” himself, Bill Pullman) who played the hotel desk clerk took the cake…he was amazing…his range within that character was on point.

The tension in the hotel climax was very well played. Overall, this was surprisingly enjoyable…well-not really surprising since it had an all-star cast…but I really enjoyed and recommend this one if you’r looking for something a little different from your standard fare. Currently streaming on HBO Now.