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Midvale Journal

Dan's Review: "Hotel Artemis" not worth checking into

Jun 09, 2018 02:38PM ● By Dan Metcalf

Dave Bautista, Jodie Foster and Jenny Slate in Hotel Artemis - © 2018 Global Road Entertainment.

Hotel Artemis (Global Road Entertainment)

Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use.

Starring Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista, Kenneth Choi, Josh Tillman, Evan Jones and Nathan Davis Jr.

Written and directed by Drew Pearce.



The premise for some films is often better than the final product. The idea of a secret hospital for criminals set in a future where riots, crime and chaos reign has some appeal, albeit a little unoriginal. Such is the setting for Hotel Artemis, starring Jodie Foster as a nurse who runs the secret hospital for a particular clientele in downtown Los Angeles some 10 years from now.

Foster’s secret hospital runs on two things: trust and the rules, which include no weapons allowed, no disrespecting staff and no killing of other patients. The patients are all called after the rooms they are assigned to (in the former hotel). Sterling K. Brown (“Waikiki”) is a bank robber trying to save his brother “Honolulu” (Brian Tyree Henry) who has been shot by police. Other guests/patients include “Acapulco” (Charlie Day), a misogynist arms dealer, and “Nice” (pronounced “Niece”), an assassin played by Sofia Boutella. Waikiki is Nice’s former lover, and he immediately assumes she’s there to kill someone. Meanwhile, “Nurse” breaks her own rules by allowing a nonmember inside who’s crawled to the back door with life-threatening injuries, much to the protests of the hospital’s only other employee “Everest” (Dave Bautista), the orderly. The injured person is Morgan (Jenny Slate), a police officer with a connection to Nurse’s past. That past includes the death of Nurse’s only son, which is somehow connected to the major crime syndicate helmed by “The Wolf King/Niagra”  (Jeff Goldblum) who eventually checks into the hospital, aided by his son Crosby (Zachary Quinto). Despite the rules, so many bad actors cooped up in the same LA high-rise ends up exactly as you’d imagine, with violence aplenty and little redemption for the wicked. 

If there is a positive to Hotel Artemis, it’s the intriguing cast, most of whom offer sketches of characters you’d like to know more about, but never really do. Other characters have little to no redeeming value, and you really don’t care if they live or die. Jenny Slate’s inclusion in the movie is perhaps the most head-scratching and superfluous, serving no purpose toward the story or development of other characters. Charlie Day’s character seems suited only to be fodder for the eventual bloodletting and most deserving to have his butt handed to him.

The main problem with Hotel Artemis is the flaky story that makes no sense and offers no reason to care about the outcomes for a bunch of people who deserve to die. There’s no honor among thieves, no tragic backstories (that we know of) other than Nurse’s pain of losing her son (who was also a criminal). Sofia Boutella’s talents and screen presence can’t save Hotel Artemis from being a huge, bloody mess with little redeeming value unless you enjoy escapist violence and gore.

Hotel Artemis is also derivative as if John Wick and The Purge had a baby. Writer/Director Drew Pearce could have spent a little more time coming up with an original story to go along with his sketchy premise.

Hotel Artemis Trailer