The intro shows Nick Offerman getting killed after burying some stolen money under a hotel room floor, and between this and The Sisters Brothers, I’m having a Coen Brothers-reminiscent double-feature. Ten years post-Offerman, four guests meet in the hotel lobby: false priest Jeff Bridges, pissy Dakota Johnson (A Bigger Splash, daughter of Melanie Griffith), salesman Jon Hamm, and downtrodden singer Cynthia Erivo (Tony-winning star of The Color Purple musical), along with lobby boy Lewis Pullman (The Strangers 2). Four of these people are not who they seem (the singer is exactly who she seems), and the movie will cut back and forth in time introducing each of their backstories as they violently collide in the present day of 1970-something. I heard this movie was a fun Tarantino knockoff, and it’s kinda Four Rooms-meets-Hateful Eight, maybe not up to the high standard of Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods and The Good Place, but it looks excellent and is a fun way to spend two long hours (each scene deliciously stringing you along, knowing you ain’t got nowhere better to be).
Chris “Thor” Hemsworth is introduced in the second half. After so much violent duplicity it seems like overkill to suddenly introduce a sex/death-cult leader, but I was busy being distracted by thinking he was definitely Chris Pine, but knowing he couldn’t be since Pine has bright glowing eyes and the only person in this movie with bright glowing eyes is Jeff Bridges as the false priest. Bridges was Offerman’s partner, seeking the money after a decade in prison, and Johnson and her psycho-killer younger sister Cailee Spaeny (Pacific Rim 2) are escapees from the Hemsworth Manson/Morrisson cult. Hamm is an FBI agent looking for God knows what but stumbling across the surveillance system in the hotel, run by self-hating Vietnam sniper-turned-heroin addict Pullman. Everyone kills everyone else, but Cynthia is too sympathetic to die, so she makes it out, possibly with the cash and/or Jeff Bridges, I don’t remember. Desplat lays down some fun music, but most of the entertainment comes from the jukebox songs and the ones Cynthia sings, sometimes in fragments, pausing and backing up.