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Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Movie Review:”Bad Times at the El Royale”

“Bad Times at the El Royale” directed by Drew Goddard stunned in this thriller and it’s no surprise considering Goddard also directed, “The Cabin in the Woods” which was one of Chris Hemsworth’s earlier leading roles.

Otherwise famous for his role as Thor in the Marvel Avengers’ movies, Hemsworth adds a sense of comic relief and eye candy to this suspenseful thriller.

His dance moves as advertised in the official trailer were all soul and added that late sixties spunk that sets the tone in the movie.

In fact, about sixty percent of the crew that worked on, “Cabin in the woods” also worked on, “El Royale” so they brought the same type of intriguing twists to the story that fans have come to expect from Goddard.

This film which takes place in 1969 at a motel in Lake Tahoe which sits on the border of California and Nevada so guests can choose to stay on either side of the border and here we see seven strangers come together for a very eventful fourteen hours at the El Royale.

El Royale
Jeff Bridges as Father Flynn, courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

For a movie loaded with A-listers this movie managed to stay on budget by the actors taking pay cuts in order for the film to have enough money to be creative and do all that Goddard needed it to do.

With headlining acts from Jeff Bridges to Jon Hamm it’s refreshing to hear that it isn’t always all about the money.

Dakota Johnson graces the screen as a bad-ass girl who keeps to herself until the two-way mirrors in the El Royale catch her in some bad light.

Cailee Spaeny, an uprising star who was also in Pacific Rim, plays a young girl who is easily influenced with all the wrong loyalties and along with her fair share of loss.

One of the shining stars of El Royale is Cynthia Erivo who sings throughout the movie and has powerful ballad and a strong heart. She immediately bonds with Father Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who isn’t all that he seems and they are a heartfelt dynamic duo throughout the film.

The setup of this movie is so beautifully executed that it’s hard not to be glued to the screen and in awe of every surprise this movie provides.

“El Royale” is a solid film that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat with eyes wide open at every exciting turn.

El Royale
Chris Hemsworth depicts a model cult leader during the heated time the of anti-war mantra. Courtesy of Instagram. Photo credit:

Between the friendships formed in this film and the suspicions running high among every guest at the El Royale stood out with their own character and their own stories which all came together for a rad and suspenseful story set in the late sixties.

The movie was loosely based on several real motels with shady pasts such as the Cal Neva which is located on the California and Nevada border that has housed several notable celebrities from Hollywood’s golden days like the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe.

Lewis Pullman who plays the concierge at the El Royale named Miles Miller is none other than the son of actor Bill Pullman and dancer Tamara Hurwitz which was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t realize they had a son who acted.

He delivered an excellent performance as a complex character who is dealing with his own demons.

All in all, “Bad Times at the El Royale” is a good time and lives up to the anticipation.