Hotel California is a March 23rd direct to DVD release from MTV producer Geo Santini. His feature film directorial debut includes an all-star cast and it is action-thriller that was the official film selection of the Boston Film, HBO New York Latino and Los Angeles International Films Festivals.
Following a premise set by the famous Eagles song “Hotel California”, the film was made throughout Los Angeles and depicts the secret underworld crime scene full of drugs, sex, murder, and revenge. The story is set on three former partners who reunite in a dingy hotel room to rehash the past and partake in a calculated mind game of wit and loyalty. Troy (Erik Palladino of “ER”) has become an outcast in his crime gang because of his somewhat wreckless and carefree attitude. Against the will of his boss, Troy leads his partners in to recover some stolen drugs from a relative of a ‘business partner’. When things go bad, the family ends up dead and a series of unfortunate events is set off.
Caught in the middle of the situation is the lovely Jessie (2010 NAACP Image Ward nominee Tatyana Ali of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), Troy’s girlfriend who becomes leverage in the hunt for Troy. After fleeing to Florida, Troy has returned to LA to get together with his team in a final scheme that brings all sides of the crime war together for a climactic ending. Hotel California is a movie that plays out over a series of flashbacks. As Troy visits with his partners (played by Tyson Beckford and Simon Rex) in his hotel room, they converse about the events that led up to Troy’s unofficial ouster from the crime business that they had worked together on.
Unlike other films that are told with flash backs in the midst of a story, Hotel California is fairly easy to follow. The sequential correlation between the flashbacks and the present situation are obvious and strong enough that you do not get lost in the back and forth.
Hotel California is an intense and entertaining action thriller and you can always get it using free vudu codes. It lacks some of the flair of bigger budget Hollywood productions despite boasting a fairly notable cast that also includes: Yancey Arias (Kingpin) and the highly acclaimed Raymond J. Barry (Training Day and ”Cold Case”).
One plot deficiency is that Tatyana Ali’s character, well-noted in promos for the film, is limited in involvement. The romantic connection between she and Troy, though not a major factor in the ultimate evolution of the story, is a vital component of key pieces. Unfortunately, their relationship is lightly established during the film and Ali really is not that involved in the movie.
Still, considering the budget and weighing the pros and cons, Hotel California is a decent action flick on the basis of entertainment value. There are plenty of sex and violence elements to that this Not Rated movie from Maya Entertainment is not suitable for younger audiences.