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|Originaltitel:||Bad Times at the El Royale|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 144 Min|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
The Hotel El Royale is a real curiosity, as the border between California and Nevada runs directly through the hotel. Many stars and starlets have come and gone here and also political celebrities have been guests here. But after the hotel had lost its gambling license, the guests stayed away. And so Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), the singer Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), the spiritual father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and the mysterious Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) are the only guests on a day of the year 1960 - a day at the end of which many dark secrets will be revealed and even more blood will flow&.hellip;
With "Bad Times at the El Royale" screenwriter and director Drew Goddard ("Cabin in the Woods") tries his hand at a nested thriller in best Tarantino style. In many moments the plan also works out very well, which is due to the atmospheric location, the good actors and the story rich in twists. It quickly becomes clear that each of the characters has a secret and that the night that this little bunch of opaque characters will spend together in the hotel will not end well for everyone. Yet, despite a certain predictability Goddard manages here and there to incorporate some really good surprises into the action.
Just the first act of this movie divided into several chapters is a lot of fun - especially because of the wonderful game of Jon Hamm, who obviously had a lot of fun embodying an extremely greasy character. But as I said, nothing here is as it seems at first glance. After the individual figures have been introduced and moved into their rooms, the first secrets come to light - although here, too, one should be prepared for a number of twists and turns.
With the secrets one of the movie's weaknesses also reveals itself. The dialogues are simply not strong enough to carry the events over almost two and a half hours. There is a very long sequence, which is visually very artistic, but from a dramaturgical point of view it is too long. Especially in the second half, the movie has to struggle with this problem more and more often, which also has the consequence that the viewers become more aware of some inconsistencies, which have remained hidden before by the harmonious mix of wonderful dialogues, gripping plot and great actors.
That also prevents "Bad Times at the El Royale" from becoming the big litter that the beginning actually promises. Despite some lengths Drew Goddard nevertheless manages to create a very entertaining "Whodunit", that maybe doesn't quite come close to its obvious role models, but nevertheless can convince in style and acting all along the line. But there is - with small exceptions - a clear one: Worth seeing!
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