There are very few films that are able to take me by surprise. More times than not I am able to predict exactly what is going to happen in a movie. Now, this generally doesn’t take anything away from my viewing experience, I think it is just a skill I’ve developed after the viewing of millions of movies throughout my lifetime. This was not the case for Bad Times at the El Royale. I found myself truly shocked scene after scene, scrambling to try and figure out what was going on. To be quite honest, the fact that I was unable to figure things out made watching Bad Times one of the most fun viewing experiences I’ve had in a very long time.
This film was full of talent but from the very first scene, the acting ability of Cynthia Erivo completely captivated me. She radiated an inner strength and intelligence that was so necessary to get her through the perils of her journey through the El Royale. Every time Cynthia sang I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion. Through every song she sang she was able to perfectly radiate the severity of the situation. I have to also commend the behind the scenes talent because Cynthia looked absolutely beautiful throughout the film.
I’ve adored the talents of Jeff Bridges for a long time but this movie is one of my favorite performances from him. In a scene with Cynthia he describes suffering from dementia in one of the most heart wrenching ways. You truly sympathized with his inability to remember up until he tries to drug Cynthia and gets smashed in the head with a bottle.
Chris Hemsworth completely embodied the role of charismatic cult leader. In a performance that I can only assume is based on the real life cult leader Charles Manson, I could definitely see how the weak and lost so willingly followed him. Hell, if Chris Hemsworth asked me to fight a girl to the death, I’m not ashamed to admit that I would definitely consider it.
Bad Times at the El Royale is a movie that I will be watching again in the near future. With all the twists and holes and information being thrown at you it is easy to miss certain aspects. I enjoyed every moment and most of all, I look forward to seeing more from Cynthia Erivo.