Bad Times at the El Royale

Bad Times at the El Royale (Drew Goddard, 2018)

Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson

Circa 1969, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.

I thought this was another good performance from Jeff Bridges.

Drew Goddard, who wrote the screenplays for Cloverfield and The Martian and wrote and directed The Cabin in the Woods, is a very clever filmmaker. His new picture, the second feature he’s both written and directed, is called Bad Times at the El Royale, and it’s an unfortunately apt demonstration of what can befall a clever filmmaker who gets too clever.
Bad Times at the El Royale has a lot of plot. Almost enough to support its 140-minute running time. But once the threads are more or less pulled together, the movie devolves into a bloody, drawn-out standoff plot in which a preening villain struts around being appalling while the camera eats up his every move. This elicits the disapprobation of Darlene, who takes a look at what’s going on and pronounces to said villain, who’s trying to get her to bet her life on a spin of a roulette wheel: “I’m just tired. I’m just bored of men like you.” At this point I wrote in my notes: “Yeah me too.” Glenn Kenny.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 11 March, 2019 | Now: 11 March, 2019