Hotel Artemis Movie Review
The noir-tinged action within the confines of the building are stylistically staged and there are enough intensity, angst, and drollness from the lead players to lend it some viability.
Cast: Sterling Brown, Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Brian Henry, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Kenneth Choi, Charlie Day, Josh Tillman, Dave Bautista
Director: Drew Pearce
Writer: Drew Pearce
"Hotel Artemis" appears to be a mishmash of inspirations - from "John Wick", "The Purge", "Grand Hotel" to John Carpenter's works. So it's largely a stylised compendium of conceit set in the near future.
Its year 2028, and Los Angeles is rocked with riots over water. Hotel Artemis is the standalone refuge for criminals who follow the unwritten code of membership for a highly distinguished order amongst thieves. No guns, no killing the other patients and more strictly enforced by a 70-something hard-drinking agoraphobe, the Nurse(Jodie Foster), who runs the 13 storey, members-only so-called hospital for lawbreakers. She, of course, has a hulking bouncer-of-sorts, Everest(Dave Bautista) to keep the trouble away. A French assassin, Nice(Sofia Boutella), an arms dealer, Acapulco (Charlie Day) and an injured cop(Jenny Slate) are already availing her high-tech healing – now add to that a set of men, brothers-in-arms Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and the grievously wounded Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry) fresh from a heist, the wounded owner of the hotel, Niagara a.k.a The Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum), his trigger-hot son and a group of henchmen and the mood is set for oncoming violence through the night. The challenge for the Nurse is to decide whether to break her own rules and confront what she's worked so hard to avoid or let the bloodshed get out of control?
Writer-director Drew Pearce's dystopian vision of Los Angeles is heard but never embraced. It plays outside in the background sounds and brief interludes that have the nurse and Everest run out to, on demands of their conscience.
The noir-tinged action within the confines of the building are stylistically staged and there are enough intensity, angst, and drollness from the lead players to lend it some viability. The Hotel has an understandably faded Gothic-Art Deco look, Ramsey Avery's production design redefines washed-out glory, Chung-hoon Chung's camerawork has an understated vividness and composer Cliff Martinez's retro-modern mash-up score delivers the punches required. Unfortunately what unfolds on screen seems a little too alien and distant to be real. There's neither compelling originality or likeability here and the drama is so flat and uninteresting that its stylised rendition feels hollow and unsatisfactory. This film is a case of style trumping content and that's a sure no go!
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