Rated R | 94 mins.
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
On the surface, Hotel Artemis showed so much promise. The plot seems intriguing and the cast includes some real, award-winning heavy hitters. However, the film gets lost, ends up being confusing, and falls just short of being good.
Artemis takes place 10 years into the future in Los Angeles where water is valuable and is considered a luxury to have. Riots overtake the city and people get injured left and right, including the criminals, and that's where a hotel-turned-hospital becomes the main character. The Hotel Artemis houses wealthy criminals who can afford a "membership" and seek medical attention from a shut-in The Nurse (Foster). She shuffles throughout a single story of the building running to the aid of bank robbers, an assassin, and an arms dealer because who else is going to do it?
The characters are all interesting, but with very vague backgrounds that we never really get to explore. For a futuristic crime film, it's fairly short and feels more like a random episode of a show you'd find on television in the middle of its season. There was a need for more context that just wasn't being delivered. So many things were happening at a rapid-fire pace (and all at once) that it was just getting way too jumbled and that prevented a proper climax. Having so many characters in a small space also hurt the film because once one of them was introduced, they were quickly escorted out.
Some of the acting was actually good and the fight scenes were well-choreographed, but that's as deep as Artemis goes. There was a lot of hope throughout the film to get better, but it never exactly achieved that. Perhaps if they extended the movie out just 30 minutes more, it would make a lot more sense and feel complete. On the other hand, if that were to happen, it would have to be an impeccable, un-stuffed half hour to really turn it around since the ending left many unanswered questions and was hardly considered satisfying. ★★
★★★★★ Classic | ★★★★ Excellent | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor
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