“Bad Times at the El Royale” (2018) is a sensational thriller featuring vibrant characters with dark pasts who met at the hotel.
The El Royale sits on the border of Nevada and California and the film is set in the 70s.
Rotten Tomatoes gave a rating of 72 percent. With a dynamic cast of actors the film drew in viewers and the audience in the theater reacted positively with upbeat chatter after the credits.
Director Drew Goddard uses compartmentalized story telling and a classic soundtrack put together and composed by Michael Giacchino. The soundtrack takes viewers right back to the 70s setting.
With previous works such as “World War Z” (2013) and “The Martian” (2015), Goddard is no stranger to the inner-workings of thrillers and applied similar tactics to the making of “Bad Times at the El Royale.”
The film provides strong opening scenes and violent surprises along with themes and cinematic aspects similar to Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” (2015). The strongest similarity is how the story is told with subheadings. In Goddard’s project, the sections are titled by each hotel room that is occupied by a guest.
Viewers are presented with a wild narrative told by an award-winning cast featuring Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Je Bridges and Jon Hamm. The characters confront their inner–demons and deal with the external consequences during their stay at the El Royale.
Lewis Pullman plays Miles Miller, a young man running the hotel and Vietnam War veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Miller battles the heavy burden of guilt and shame for his actions.
This being one of Pullman’s first major roles, he gave a great performance, dripping with desperation in his role, capturing the essence of brokeness.
Overall, Goddard offers viewers an imaginative story by following several strangers on a false path to redemption.
He uses sequences of vignettes, melodramatic plot twists, a doll-style narrative and ever-surprising characters to put together a new, refreshing take on a classic genre.