A Brief History
On June 8, 2018, another great dystopian future film premiers across the United States when Hotel Artemis opens. We had the opportunity to review the film and found it to be entertaining, though not exactly uplifting. Starring Jodie Foster as “The Nurse,” the “hotel” is actually a secret hospital for well heeled outlaws to receive emergency medical treatment. Jeff Goldblum adds star power as the main bad guy, known colorfully as the much feared “Wolf King.” Writer/Director Drew Pearce lends the film noir his own brand of cynical view of society (he also wrote the screen plays for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Iron Man 3) while he makes his directorial debut.
Foster (Taxi Driver, Freaky Friday, Anna and the King, Money Monster, Silence of the Lambs, Contact and Elysium among others) delivers her usual top notch acting performance (Academy Awards for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs) as the nurse with personal demons that runs the hotel/hospital with very strict and particular rules. Her assistant, the hulking and yet likable Dave Bautista (former WWE professional wrestler and body builder) as the orderly known as Everest is a great character of simple principle. Sterling K. Brown, television Emmy, SAG Award and Golden Globe winning actor (recently of hit films such as Black Panther, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and The Suspect) stars as a client outlaw that brings his seriously wounded brother for treatment after a botched heist during a massive Los Angeles riot over the privatization of water. The other main characters include the lovely Algerian actress Sofia Boutella (of Star Trek Beyond, The Mummy, both Kingsman movies, Atomic Blonde and the made for television Fahrenheit 451) as a deadly assassin and her Star Trek Beyond acting mate (as Mr. Spock), Zachary Quinto (also of Star Trek and Star Trek into the Darkness, Hitman 47, and Snowden) as Crosby.
Rated R for the violence and graphic medical procedures, the film maintains a good level of tension as masses of rioters approach the hotel and divisions among the clients threaten to break out into open warfare. The lines between good, evil, and kind of good /evil are blurred as the audience finds itself rooting for people that are something less than model citizens. Although only meriting a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience seemed to enjoy the film just fine, as did we, though there was no particular motivation for applause at the end, as it just did not have that sort of ending.
Made in the same sort of model as the “Continental Hotel” in the 2017 film, John Wick 2, in which no killing is permitted on hotel grounds, a place of criminal sanctuary, and other movies where medical professionals provide clandestine care to injured outlaws (Playing God, 1997), Hotel Artemis is set only 10 years from now in 2028, but apparently medical technology has advanced to a surprising level of efficiency with some sort of “nanobot” type of rapid healing treatment.
As usual, we do not supply spoilers as you surely want to see the film and enjoy the tension and twists on your own. We liked the movie and recommend it for all fans of futuristic films, gangster type films, and science fiction tinged productions. Not so much for kids, so leave the little ones at home. Jodie Foster fans will particularly like the movie.
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For another opinion, please see this review.