1 October 2018 | Yee_Reviews
Wannabe Tarantino Film
Good: The time period 1969 provides a great stylistic approach to a hotel that has property on both California and Nevada, which adds to the idea of having a good side and a bad side and the hotel also creates a sense of entrapment. The cinematography is great as it makes slow pans to unveil the secrets of the characters and the El Royale. The hotel, costume design, and soundtrack help create a nostalgic setting. The directing and editing are also well done when incorporating sound/music to scenes especially when Cynthia Ervio sings. Erivo's musical performance is filled with heart and soul and helps develop the character and conveys her emotions. Other standouts are Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth just has a charming presence and provides the slight dark tone of his character. Bridges plays his character well as he connects with Erivo and tries to execute his actions. However, the rest of the cast have trouble making their appearance known...
Bad: At a whopping 2h 20m runtime, the film is a slow burn where it takes a painstakingly long time to make it to the end and even the finale becomes a disappointment. At times it tries to be funny, but the humor is not a standout in this film. There is a lack of emotional pull to the characters which is evident in the finale where the characters are still not fully developed. The concept was there, but the creativity lacked, which ended up in poor execution.
Overall: Style over substance. I wanted to like this movie for the trailer was great with its editing, soundtrack, and cast, but does not live up to Drew Godard's directing predecessor "The Cabin in the Woods," or have the writing creativity from "The Martian." The film reminded me a lot of Quentin Tarantino films as it was divided into chapters and had the same style with flashback stories to gain background, however, I would rather watch "Hateful Eight," or any of Tarantino films that have excellent dialogue and action.
2.9/5 (Not fresh)