Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, 'Hotel Artemis' follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
'Hotel Artemis' is the third film ever to be distributed by Global Road Entertainment, it also happens to be Drew Pearce's directorial debut for a feature length film. It stars the likes of Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Charlie Day and Dave Bautista. Going into this movie I had no idea really what it was about other than the few tweets I saw on Friday when it opened. I had not seen a trailer nor did I read into this film, but I went into it pretty excited nonetheless. 'Hotel Artemis' is set in 2028 Los Angeles during one of the worst riots in U.S history. It centers around Jodie Foster's character who runs a hotel that is meant to patch up and take care of the most elite criminals. From here we have a movie that offers some quality suspense, good performances all around and a decent plot.
'Artemis' as I previously stated has quite the well-rounded cast. Jodie Foster in this movie is quite good, Sterling K. Brown is also really good in this movie, he plays one of the criminals there to get service from Foster. Sofia Boutella plays probably this movie most exciting character and she really played her role well. At times these performances, especially the ones from the criminals, came off as comical or cartoony. I think after processing this film that Pearce and the other filmmakers who worked on this were actually going for that. Dave Bautista is pretty cool in this movie. He plays the hotels security and works alongside Foster. His and Foster's character have quite good chemistry and it was the most believable of the movie for sure. Foster did a really good job at setting the tone of this hotel and what it's all about. I had a hard time being invested in these characters because of the lack of overall development. The characters are for the most part interesting but without any developed arcs, as well as the subplots that just felt useless, I really did not care much for these characters. Jeff Goldblum is pretty awesome in this movie and his talents were put on display once again...(SPOILERS AHEAD, you have been warned, skip to next paragraph)...for about 2 minutes! Yea! They killed off this movie's most intriguing character after maybe three or four minutes tops screen time. It felt like Goldblum was in town and they put out an alert saying we need someone to come by the studio for half an hour! His character felt so wasted in this and that was a disappointment. (SPOILERS DONE)
Pretty much the entirety of this movie is spent in this hotel so it is important that they set a good vibe in there, and thanks to how Foster portrayed the hotel as well as the set design, I was rather pleased and drawn into the world of 'Hotel Artemis.' It was a neat estranged setting and it was quite entertaining to be a part of. The intensity in this movie is build up pretty well but without a sense of payoff. The final parts of this film were somewhat rushed in my opinion and it hurt this movie in terms of emotion and intensity, however, this was still a lot of fun to watch. The main fight sequence was really fun in this movie and it was choreographed very well but because of no connection being developed with the characters in this movie for me, it's essentially just mindless fun. Overall, I was much more interested in this World and hotel not the actual characters and subplots. The biggest star of Hotel Artemis is the central premise. The Nurse (Jodie Foster) and her orderly Everest (Dave Bautista) run an exclusive hospital for criminals. This leads to an interesting clientele including a bank robber named Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and his brother Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry), an assassin named Nice (Sofia Boutella) and an angry/arrogant arms dealer named Acapulco (Charlie Day). Taking place in the near future during large riots over water prices, the place is a fortress under the guise of being a hotel. I loved this idea even if its similar to the Continental in the John Wick franchise. These extreme and dangerous characters bouncing off each other was what made the movie fun. They're almost trapped together and each is used to being the alpha male/female so there's lots of tension. Each character is unique and has their own motivation and with the arrival of the Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum) imminent, this leads them into making dangerous decisions to escape what should be their sanctuary. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all of these people even if I wouldn't want to be in the same room with them in real life. Hotel Artemis reminded me a lot of a 2016 movie named Free Fire, most of the characters are awful people trying to escape an unbelievable situation (Hotel Artemis is in the noir genre where Free Fire was more action oriented).
I was surprised that Hotel Artemis wasn't set in modern day. The movie doesn't fit into the science fiction genre but there effectively use some fragments of it. The characters are stuck in the Artemis because of riots over water shortages, that's not impossible in the future if you've been following the news about the drought in California. They also automate a lot of the medical procedures and are using 3D printers to produce organs, this may not be available now but again, its not as far away as you think. There's a lot of creativity when it comes to finding out how this hospital would work and I appreciated the thought that went into it. Add in that the production design was great and you have an appropriately grimy movie with imagination and solid cinematography.
If you love movies, I think you're going to see the names in this cast and be a little intrigued. You've got some TV stars in Sterling K. Brown, Charlie Day and Brian Tyree Henry and some memorable character actors from summer blockbusters in Dave Bautista, Jeff Goldblum, and Sofia Boutella. At the centre is Jodie Foster as Nurse and I was really impressed with the work she did here. I thought she vanished into the character and performed well in a very atypical role for her. I thought Sterling K. Brown was great, his performance was so good I was wondering how he hasn't become a leading man in film yet. Sofia Boutella is playing a role suited to her as Nice but she does it well. She also gets a decent action scene toward the end. Charlie Day is also good at playing a scumbag and while his character's arrogance was irritating and I got tired of him shouting all his lines, that was the intended effect. Dave Bautista continues to grow as an actor and he actually had a lot of chemistry with Jodie Foster. Jeff Goldblum was pretty solid in an all too brief appearance and Jenny Slate was fine despite her character being lacklustre.
Getting to what I didn't like about Hotel Artemis, there are times I think the script for this really shines but there are points of more mixed execution. There are some really funny jokes but there are just as many times where the jokes or the dialogue falls flat. Hotel Artemis also has some characters that feel tacked on. I liked Jenny Slate's performance and I appreciated Zachary Quinto trying something different but their characters both could have been cut out of the plot. They also hype up the arrival of the Wolf King but his screen time is short and considering all the buildup, his arc fizzles instead of working like other parts of the Hotel Artemis plot.
Hotel Artemis features a great premise, some interesting characters and committed performances. It falters at points, the trailers sold a bunch of action that is barely present and I didn't think Hotel Artemis fully delivered on the potential it had. But I still enjoyed Hotel Artemis way more than I didn't, I think it stands out from similar titles (namely John Wick) and the focus on the characters pays off. It's a fun noir romp with some sci-fi touches thrown in. If you think the trailers are interesting or looking for something more low-key to take a break from blockbuster season, I would definitely recommend this. Though it boasts an agreeably preposterous scenario and a weird mixed bag of physicalities and acting styles — from Foster and Sterling K. Brown to Jenny Slate and Dave Bautista — the movie is itself an eye-rolling performance of cyber-pulp tropes and pop-movie excesses that undercuts its spotty pleasures at nearly every turn. a5c7b9f00b
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