Movie Review - Hotel Artemis
The movie is about one fateful night where the very existence of the hotel is threatened because desperation and necessity require the hotel to break the rules designed to protect it and those therein. If the movie had been about how an operation like this hotel can disintegrate due to the nature of the clientele who inhabit it, then this movie would have been fine. However, Pearce layers other stuff on top of it that muddle it. The whole thing is set in 2028 in a quasi-dystopian future where riots and chaos dominate the background, but I'm not sure what the purpose of that background is or what it adds to the film that's essential or vital.
If this movie was a decent action flick, then that background could just be background without scrutiny. John Wick is a genuine action flick with multiple, intense sequences, at least three major sequences of intense action. This film in reality only has one, and it's at the end. That might be enough to classify it as such, but this movie is basically a drama, a character study about a woman in this dystopian world. As such, the background should possibly inform that character study but I'm not sure it does.
Jodie Foster (Inside Man and The Silence of the Lambs) stars as a woman who has the training of a doctor or even a surgeon, but she's called "Nurse" throughout this movie. Later, it's revealed that her name might be Jean Thomas. She not only runs the hotel but she also performs all the medical procedures for every person who comes into the hotel. The hotel is a fairly large high-rise, about 12 stories or more, but only the top floors are used, the penthouse and several suites. The Nurse indicates that only a half-dozen patients are possible at once because each patient gets their own suite and a patient can only be a patient if he or she has pre-paid membership and a special implant as a criminal. She doesn't let anyone inside unless they meet those requirements. She also doesn't go outside, having become agoraphobic. She's a bit of an elderly lady. Foster is playing older than her age, but she's still very spry and quirky. She's witty and non-judgmental, motherly and constantly carries an audio player.
Jeff Goldblum (Thor: Ragnarok and Independence Day: Resurgence) plays Orian Franklin aka Wolf King, the aforementioned gangster who arrives at the hotel having been shot too. There's no explanation for what happened to him. He arrives with a large entourage, including his son Crosby, played by Zachary Quinto (Star Trek and Snowden), and a dozen or more thugs. How the Wolf King is injured but none of his thugs are seems odd, which suggests Wolf King was alone when he was shot but no explanation is given as to how that happened, which makes his singular injury feel contrived. He doesn't even acknowledge the stolen diamonds. Pearce's film fails to connect the dots there.
Sofia Boutella (The Mummy and Star Trek: Beyond) also co-stars as a French assassin who has ulterior motives for being at the hotel, other than to heal the bullet-wound in her arm. Fortunately, there is a French-themed suite at the hotel called Nice, so she's referred to as Ms. Nice. She's just a hired gun though, a plot-device to be an agent of chaos in the narrative. Who hired her and why remain unknown by the end of the film. She talks to a nameless, faceless and voiceless person. Again, if this was just a sheer action flick with nothing on its mind but energy and movement, then it would be fine if her boss was never identified, but since this is more a drama, without that context, Nice's placement here falls flat. I almost thought that in a twist, the Nurse was Nice's employer.
Rated R for violence, language, some sexual references and brief drug use.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 37 mins.