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3 Reasons To Watch Bad Times At The El Royale If You Missed It In Theaters

Bad TImes At The El Royale Jon Hamm looking concerned and shady on a rainy night
Bad TImes At The El Royale Jon Hamm looking concerned and shady on a rainy night

It’s Not The Movie You Think It Is

From the offset, looked like something along the lines of mixed with a Quentin Tarantino movie. Just a bunch of bad people, being trapped in the same setting, waiting to do bad things to one another. If Goddard’s film was just that, then it’d still have been a fun ride, if not extremely derivative. However, upon closer inspection, that’s not the case.

By time we’re done seeing the cast at work, and have been exposed to all of their backstories, we learn that there’s a lot more going on than any of the trailers have let us believe. Which, to be fair, is kind of the purpose of a trailer. We’re supposed to be sold a basic concept as to what the movie we’re about to watch will feel like, and the version shown in the trailer for looked very decidedly Tarantino-esque.

If anything, the final product feels like a cross between the aesthetic of Quentin Tarantino, with the morality and snappy dialogue of the Coen Bros. In fact, is firmly set at the crossroads of those two sensibilities, sewn together with Drew Goddard’s eye for direction and storytelling. Trust me when I tell you that if you think you’ve got this film pegged, you don’t. This movie is something altogether different from what you think it is, and it’s all the better for it.

Bad Times At The El Royale Jeff Bridges and Cynthia Erivo being friendly in the sunlight

It Has Some Of The Best Character Work Of 2018

As if writing one hell of a narrative wasn’t enough, Drew Goddard gave us some of the best characters to hang around with in 2018 in . There’s actually no character who falls flat, or simply becomes a stock background figure, with all involved having their moment in the sun.

It also helps that Goddard wrote these characters, he also chose one hell of a cast to play them. There is no false note in the casting of this film, as everyone from Jon Hamm’s fast talking salesman to Dakota Johnson’s hellion with a past. Every performance is in line with what is looking for, and nobody misses their target. You might even be asking yourself if Chris Hemsworth’s charismatic cult leader is the wild card of the bunch, but he’s just as laser focused as everyone else is; making him all the more threatening.

But if I were to highlight cast members of particular distinction, I’d have to say the trio of Jeff Bridges, Lewis Pullman, and Cynthia Erivo are the MVPs of . Without going too far into the particulars, there’s a bond that forms between their characters, and what looked like it’d be a more freeform ensemble narrative becomes quite fixated on just a few people. Yet the story never loses focus, and instead uses these characters as an embodiment of its overall message, with all other players helping its central moral unfold. With every single character around them drawn like a living, breathing being with dimension, there are quite a few reasons to watch.

Bad TIme At The El Royale Chris Hemsworth wandering shirtless through a field

It Deserves To Become A Cult Classic

If audiences had given the chance it deserved at the box office, we might have seen the film succeed more modestly. Still, it was likely never going to be a big budget win, and given the the slick and somewhat misleading trailer the film put out into the world, it’s almost no surprise the movie only made $31 million–not quite enough to make its budget back. However, having actually seen the film and knowing its history, I can’t help but feel this is destined to become a sneaky classic.

There’s an insane level of replay value with , with various clues and hints hidden in plain sight throughout the film. Seeing it twice myself, over the course of two days, I noticed a lot of stuff that pointed straight to where the film was headed right from the start. Not to mention, while the film doesn’t flat out tell you when it takes place, there are some big pieces of information that narrow the window of time to a very limited time frame, which only enriches the events of the film’s story.

Everything about works so perfectly that it’s the sort of film that often gets picked up by film fans after the fact, and could become a rabid favorite that’s defended for years after its release. Drew Goddard and company created a slick mousetrap that manages to run a gauntlet’s worth of influences, and shine as its own thing under those spotlights of inspiration.

With the film market being as crowded as it is today, it’s films like these that find their real appreciation in this phase life. The audience could have made a small hit out of , but left with what happened in its theatrical release, now is the time for action. Ultimately, the most important reason you, or anyone else you know who is interested in seeing should do so immediately is because contrary to its title, it’s one hell of a good time.

So there you have it. Three big reasons why should be on your watch list in the near future. Reading those reasons is one thing, but actually seeing them in action for yourself is another. As such, the film is available on Digital HD and all home video formats as we speak, so go track down a copy and settle in for an experience too good to let pass you by.

About Adam Meintzer

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