Hotel Artemis Movie Review
If you put yourself into the year 2028 and you are in L.A. then the “Hotel Artemis” might be the safest place to stay. There are riots (over lack of water) out on the streets, and the hand-basket is full on its way to Hell. The problem is that the Hotel is about to experience the worst night ever, which makes for crazy, loopy movie full of odd characters and violent situations. Kinda like a normal day in L.A. The Artemis is a members-only hotel, which also operates as a make-shift hospital for criminals. But something major is afoot…
The person in charge is Nurse Jean Thomas (Jodie Foster), who runs the underground operation on the penthouse floor of the building, located in mid-town L.A. She is quick with a kind word and high-tech medical supplies that can fix up all types of bad guys and gals. There is an elaborate list of rules that all the guests must follow, the most important is not to hurt or kill other guests or the staff. When the other person on staff is the muscle-bound hulk called Everest (Dave Bautista), it is better not to get him riled up.
But on this night, all the valued guests are checked into their rooms. And each guest then referred to by the decor theme of that room. Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) is an injured thief checked into a room with Pacific Ocean scenes on the walls. Nice (Sofia Boutella) has a bullet wound in her room with an Italian countryside flair. Acapulco (Charlie Day) is a loud and obnoxious arms dealer with a room that shouts Ole. Waikiki has a brother in very bad shape in room Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry), and he might not make it. But the final open room is going to Niagara (Jeff Goldblum) who is a major crime kingpin in L.A. — and he owns the building. He is also known as ‘The Wolf King’ because — it’s a cool name…
But this will be no ordinary night. There is a mobster in Detroit that is paying Nice for an assassination of a highly prominent person at the Hotel. Acapulco is attempting to get out of the country and flee from some bad deals he made. Waikiki and Honolulu are fresh from a robbery that has laid up Honolulu bad. They also are in possession of some precious jewels but these belong to ‘The Wolf King’ and he gets upset when they go missing. Nurse also happens to see a police officer named Morgan (Jenny Slate) right outside the back door who needs help. Everest tells Nurse it is a terrible idea to try and help her, and things will not go right. He is right, as usual…
When ‘The Wolf King’ arrives with his crazy son Crosby (Zachary Quinto) the wheels are set in motion, just before it all goes off the track. The people in the Hotel are avoiding the riots below, but there are plenty of violent moments up in the penthouse. Some of the guests will not survive the night, and there will be many blood infusions — but just as much blood spilled. Nurse has some deep secrets in her past, and the Officer Morgan helps her to remember the awful truth of her history. ‘The Wolf King’ has more to do with the Nurse’s tragic back-story than she first thought, and now revenge creeps into her mind.
The story is a little cliché and the concept a bit derivative of the “John Wick” universe. All the characters are mostly stereotypes, and only Nurse Jean Thomas has any real humanity in her story. Jodie Foster does a fine job with her portrayal of a shut-in with issues from the past and issue with any spaces bigger than the hallway. Every other character is pretty much a one-note look at a specific type. Dave Bautista does have a lot of fun as an orderly with pretty big chip on a pretty big shoulder. More likely than not, this set up would work for ‘John Wick’ just as well as it does for ‘The Wolf King’. But even as a copy of other ideas, this works out well.
Drew Pearce does a lot with the concept, even when it does not become fully-fleshed out. The idea is wild, and the futuristic setting has some nice touches. The characters are stock, for the most part — but everyone plays them with a lot of gusto. There are a few big fight sequences, and a much longer series of build-ups to the finale. The production design goes full Art Deco for the interior of the Hotel, which gives it a glamorous, yet old-timey look.
At the “Hotel Artemis”, you can check in any time you like, and only if you are still alive – then you can leave…
Hotel Artemis Review
Hotel Artemis Summary
Written and Directed by: Drew Pearce
Starring: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista
Length: 94 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use
Genre: Action, Crime, Sci-Fi, Thriller