Bad Times at the El Royale ★★★½

Some takeaways here

1. Dakota Johnson is becoming less and less awful with each passing film she doesnt have to get bound and spanked by a low grade tv actor. This is great news. I really like her.

2. John Hamm and Chris Hemsworth shouldve switched roles. It's hard to go into detail why without spoilers but basically they both played the parts fine but I think a role reversal would've played to their strengths more. I feel like the decision was made based on which role would get Hemsworth out of his shirt.

3. This film has one of the most laughably unrealistic Vietnam War sequences I've ever seen. I was waiting for Skull Island monsters to show up.

4. Jeff Bridges and Cynthia Erivo were really good together. Erivo was great in her own right, too.

5. I was disappointed by the lack of gusto regarding some of the plot revelations and kept waiting for something to really catch me off guard but nothing did. It's all revealed in kind of a ho-hum low-key way like they weren't aiming for any surprises. Oh well.

6. The film looks gorgeous. The colors pop like a luminous jukebox in the rain and the El Royale feels decidedly mysterious and seedy. I was really into the setting.

It's sad there wasnt much hype around this film. It has A+ level production design, a decent script and some great actors and actresses doing their thing. It doesnt do much else to stand out or make itself worthy of reconsideration but for the few people who actually saw it, they were probably pleasantly surprised