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Hotel Artemis

by on June 10, 2018
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“Hotel Artemis” is taking ideas and concepts that are reminiscent of the “John Wick” franchise and is trying to make a name for itself. For much of the film, those ambitious goals are visibly seen and are admirable, but they unfortunately do fall short of being a standout, ingenious thriller. But while it doesn’t reach its goal through-and-through, “Hotel Artemis” provides enough character and ambition to make a relatively enjoyable experience.

In the year 2028, Los Angeles has become consumed with riots and protests as its water supply has become privatized. In the ensuing chaos, crime rates are on the rise. But with more violence comes higher casualties and wounded. That’s where Jean Thomas (Jodie Foster) comes in, as she takes in any wounded criminal on the street to her secret hospital, the Hotel Artemis. But after taking in noted criminal Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and his wounded brother, the violence will soon spiral out of control and she must break her own rules if she is to make it through the night.

Given his experience with writing 2013’s “Iron Man 3” and 2015’s “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” director Drew Pearce certainly crafted a great-looking film, especially in regards to the Hotel Artemis itself. He firmly establishes the layout of the building as well as its history, technology, various rooms and compartments, etc. The first 20 minutes were incredibly fun to watch because it’s where the majority of establishing the hotel takes place, where you learn the ins-and-outs of the hotel as well as its rules, staff, and different suites and operating rooms. It’s all very intriguing and I would’ve loved to learn more.

The cast themselves are also wildly entertaining to watch on-screen. Jodie Foster leads the pack as the head nurse of the Hotel Artemis, and she has this sort of engrossing presence that always makes her fun to watch, and she is clearly having fun with her role and does an admirable job. Sterling K. Brown puts a little more humanity into the story as the lead heist thief Waikiki, and Dave Bautista stands out as the best part of the whole film as the assistant nurse to Jodie Foster, with on-point humor as well as genuine empathy making him the most likable character.

Charlie Day has much less to do in the film and is solid with the role he’s given, but I am satisfied that Sofia Boutella finally got some material that can help show off her acting capabilities, because she has been associated with the action genre more than anything else and so I’m glad she’s getting a chance to shine. Jeff Goldblum practically has only a few minutes of screen-time in the entire movie, but he’s nonetheless irresistibly fun to watch as always. The only actor who fails to add anything to the story was Zachary Quinto, who plays one of the villains of the film. With every frame he’s in, he tries to continuously emphasize how evil and villainous he is and it gets annoying after a while.

I also thought the cast worked together just as well as on their own, maybe more. The dynamics between the characters, whether it’s the engaging banter between Charlie Day and Sofia Boutella or the friendly nature between Jodie Foster and Dave Bautista, help elevate the heart of this film and makes it that much more enjoyable.

While the people inside the building are interesting themselves, the story they’re placed in is what really hampers the film as a whole. Even though we’re given a rich mythology and world to play in, we don’t really go far enough in terms of emotion and depth a film like this deserves. “John Wick” provided a rich world to explore as well as a sympathetic, damaged character in John Wick. While the actors do great with their work, they’re not given much to do other than the roles they’re given, and thus feel a little limited in their potential.

Overall, “Hotel Artemis” is a simple, entertaining ride at the movie theatre. The cast and their dynamics with one another are reason alone to give it a watch, even though the story they’re in doesn’t live up to its potential.

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