Written and directed by Drew Pearce, “Hotel Artemis” focuses on a secretly run hospital of the same name in the middle of a war-torn Los Angeles in the year 2028. The constant violence and riots in the streets leave many wounded, only you need to have a membership to get into the hospital. Hotel Artemis is run by who we and other characters only known as The Nurse, played by Jodie Foster. The normally quiet hospital is suddenly having a much busier night now that a group of robbers have come to stay, bringing along with them a stolen pen that is much more valuable than they thought. What it contains belongs to a big name crime boss named Wolf King, played by Jeff Goldblum, which complicates matters and brings together a clash of criminals.
The cast of “Hotel Artemis” is jammed packed with big names. The obvious ones here are Jodie Foster and Jeff Goldblum, two beloved and talented actors. While Goldblum seems to be in just about every movie that is released, Jodie Foster on the other hand has made her first on-screen appearance in five years. She has spent those years writing and directing, and it’s a breath of fresh air to be reminded of her acting talent. Sterling K. Brown plays Waikiki, one of the robbers who ran himself into a much bigger problem than imagined. Charlie Day plays the irritatingly violent and aggressive Acapulco, Sofia Boutella plays the sly and kick-ass Nice, and Dave Bautista plays the angry and protective Everest, the guard and protector of “Hotel Artemis”.
Writer/director Drew Pearce has taken an interesting turn in terms of his filmmaking. He has writing credits for both “Iron Man 3” and “Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation”. Now he has taken a turn to both writing and directing a film that is meant to be a social commentary. The film does have the action and thrill of those previous films but has still taken a huge turn from his previous works.
While the majority of the characters are criminals, there are plenty of likeable ones. However, that’s one of the very few things that makes “Hotel Artemis” enjoyable. While its nothing terrible or unworthy of attention, the film is still quite forgettable. With such an intriguing plot, one would think that it would be able to get audiences’ attention. The film is quiet fascinating at first, however scene by scene the film seems to let go of its grip as it derails, leaving much more to be desired. There is a great film here somewhere, but the biggest problem that ruined that opportunity is the sloppy screenplay.
“Hotel Artemis” is definitely creative in a world-building sense and with its characters, which can spark memories of the not so critically acclaimed “Suicide Squad”. While this may still be a better version of the failed anti-hero story, there are plenty of holes that leave us wanting something more. However, this isn’t to say there is nothing gratifying about the film. “Hotel Artemis” is comical here and there, thrilling here and there, and even dramatically meaningful here and there. The only problem is that it fails to stay consistent enough for any of that to matter in the long run.
Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use