The truth is that “Bad Times at the El Royale” is far from a perfect movie. It seems confused with itself at times, clutters itself unimportant characters and plots, and is one of the most obvious Quentin Tarantino rip-offs in history. But it also shines in a number of ways, not least of which is how much room it gives its actors to fly. One such actor is Hemsworth, who brings his A game to the role of Billy Lee, a hippie cult leader turned kidnapper and extortionist.
Hemsworth spends every moment of the movie trying his darndest, and even in those moments when he doesn’t absolutely nail it, his dedication is admirable. And the good news is: he mainly nails it. Hemsworth is given a character with many sides, and the actor takes advantage of that by rolling that multi-sided die constantly. He is by turns kind, savvy, terrifying, manipulative, and just plain charismatic. He endows Lee with characteristics of a preacher, a madman, a therapist, and a prophet. His costars who are given more screen time similarly bring the goods, including Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, and most of all Cynthia Erivo, making “Bad Times at the El Royale” an undeniably worthy watch.