No guns. No cops. No killing the other patients.
Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, 'Hotel Artemis' follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
ActorsStarring: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, Charlie Day, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Kenneth Choi, Father John Misty, Evan Jones, Nathan Davis Jr., Ramses Jimenez, Angela Sprinkle, Lloyd Sherr, Baldeep Singh, Brandon Morales, Tanner Gill, Bruce Concepcion, Sarah Shankman, Mark Kubr, Kate Higgins, Mason Shea Joyce, James Rackstraw, Matt Morgan, Lee Coc
Hotel Artemis has a lot going for it. A simple but creative premise: in a not too distant and violent future, criminals can get emergency medical attention in a members-only hotel. It features an interesting ensemble cast, led by Jodie Foster and supported by Jeff Goldblum, Dave Bautista and Zachary Quinto to name a few. The cinematography comes from Chung-hoon Chung, who captured the atmosphere in movies like The Handmaiden and It. And the score is by composer Cliff Martinez who created the strong aural impact of movies like Drive and The Neon Demon. So everything is set for a great movie.
It starts straight in the middle of the action with Nurse (Jodie Foster) working on patients in her hotel, with the help of orderly Everest (Dave Bautista). Riots in LA seem to bring in a steady stream of members, and Nurse deftly deals with them whilst Everest helps her enforce The Rules of the hotel. “No killing other patients”, “no weapons permitted through the gate”, “membership must be paid for in advance” are a few that appear challenging to adhere to for Artemis’ members. As the riots keep bringing in the criminals, the tensions in the Hotel rise and when the Hotel’s financier Niagara (Jeff Goldblum) needs Nurse’s services things start to reach boiling point.
The world building is well done and there is an atmospheric steampunk vibe in the place. I suspect the choice for steampunk was made to distinguish it stylistically from John Wick, which conceptually it seems to borrow quite a bit from. The acting is good all around, led by Foster; with the relatively large number of people in a 90 minute movie, there is very little depth to each character, but all actors do a great job of bringing their caricatures to life, with the only exception being Quinto, who kind of over-acts his.
There is however one problem with the movie: the script. The first half is great and intriguing, and you’re keen to see where this will all go. But as you begin to realise that it doesn’t really go anywhere very exciting, the viewer’s interest dwindles as the movie fizzles out towards its finale, even if the action continues. It’s still an ok watch, but the promising first half makes the meandering second half rather disappointing.