Director: Drew Pearce
Writer: Drew Pearce
Featuring: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinton, Charlie Day
The ‘Nurse’ lives in and runs a secret members-only hospital for the criminal element of Los Angeles in the near future. Along with orderly, the huge ‘Everest’, she runs the building with a strict code and set of rules for every patient. One evening a bank-robber, who had previously tried to give-up his life of crime, arrives with his badly injured brother along with $18 million worth of jewels that his brother unwittingly stole off mob-boss and crime-lord of LA the Wolf King. The trouble is the Wolf King is also coming to the hospital for treatment and a hired top-notch assassin is already ensconced in the hospital. Tonight will change everything for everyone who is there on that night, not all will get away with their life…
Hotel Artemis seems to have been billed as a hot action flick but in truth the action, kicking, stabbing and shooting really takes place in the final fifteen minutes or so with a character study build-up leading into it. Mainly a cartoonish set of boldly drawn characters but nonetheless the film-maker tries to give them interesting characteristics and back-stories. This partially fails and partially succeeds.
For instance I was interested in who they were enough to keep me watching but then I felt that they were very lightly sketched. Jodie Foster, very effective as ‘The Nurse’, is given the lions-share of background but the rest are given one-line lead ins but not much else. Sofia Boutella, impressive as always in this type of role, is a top assassin who is very successful and she has to record her killing for her client, but that is it. Dave Bautista is huge orderly/minder but that is it. Take this away from the film and what really have is a light, not so fluffy, comic-book style story. The police officer played by Jenny Slate seems to have been a weird afterthought that lead no where – I just found the whole part of the story odd.
Overall the look is impressive with the slightly-future LA looking good, just scuzzy enough to be on the edge of riots and noirish Blade Runner look fitting in well. Also the future-tech whilst perhaps a bit too far ahead for ten years in the future was plausible.
All of the acting fitted in well with the type of story and film that Hotel Artemis was but as a whole, I couldn’t help something was missing. The run time at 94 minutes certainly did not outlive its welcome and I was happy to sit and watch from beginning to end but like many films I’ve watched over the years I would not go out of my way to watch it again and by the end of next week I’ll have forgotten most of it.
Which is a shame but Hotel Artemis could have been so much more than it was.