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Hotel Artemis Review

"A Typical Wednesday"
  Hotel Artemis has a hell of a premise - a hotel/hospital exclusively for criminals in a dystopian near future - and a fantastic cast to go with it. It's a fun, energetic and creative crime thriller that falls just short of greatness. Think of it as a really good movie that's one or two drafts away from being amazing. The titular Hotel Artemis is run by The Nurse (Jodie Foster), who relies on her orderly, Everest (Dave Bautista) for help - and on this night, she's going to need all the help she can get. As city-wide riots rock Los Angeles in 2028, the Artemis finds itself unusually busy. Among its guests/patients - who are all assigned code names - are Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry), a pair of unlucky bank robbers in need of stitching up after a job goes sideways; Nice (Sofia Boutella), an assassin who has more than one reason to be visiting the Artemis, and Acapulco (Charlie Day), a sleazy arms dealer with a bad attitude. Also on his way is notorious crime boss and owner of the Artemis, The Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum), whose son (Zachary Quinto) is a bit of a powder keg - not ideal given that his father is wounded and the city is on fire. Hotel Artemis moves at a brisk pace. The dialogue is snappy and fun - characters are introduced quickly and efficiently, and there's always something cool, fun or interesting happening at any given moment. The great cast is no small part of how and why the movie runs so smoothly. Jodie Foster is terrific as The Nurse, bringing a lot of fierce determination and dry wit to the character, as well as a more tender, vulnerable side. Her dynamic with the orderly Everest is great and Bautista once again shows off his range. Both Sterling K. Brown and Sofia Boutella seem incapable of not being the coolest people in the room in every scene, and the movie smartly pairs their characters with a romantic backstory. Charlie Day plays the punching bag asshole of the group and he leans into it quite nicely. He's a fun character to hate and is just the right amount of grating. Jeff Goldblum has the honor of the best character entrance, as well as a truly wonderful exit line, but unfortunately, his appearance ends up being little more than a cameo in the end. One of the more noticeable problems with Hotel Artemis is that since it almost never lets up, there are a few times when it doesn't really give certain characters and plot developments enough room to breathe. The urgency and momentum of the plot keeps the movie consistently engaging, but there are a couple fairly significant dramatic moments that fall flat because they go by too quickly. On the plus side, that also means you don't really linger on the weaker moments that much and before you know it, you're back to fun/cool/interesting territory. Hotel Artemis is a fun flick that's a little rough around the edges, but not enough to really undercut the overall enjoyment. The characters are likable and memorable, the plot is interesting and there are even a couple pretty cool action scenes. It's a promising feature film debut from writer/director Drew Pearce, whose previous work includes co-writing Iron Man 3 and a story credit for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
  • An interesting premise
  • Memorable characters played by a great cast
  • Fun, snappy dialogue
  • Not enough Goldblum
  • The urgent pace undercuts a few character moments and plot developments


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