Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, ‘Hotel Artemis’ follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58% (Critics) / 47% (Audience)
MetaScore: 57 – Mixed or average reviews
Directed By: Drew Pearce
Written By: Drew Pearce
Starring: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista and Jeff Goldblum
Studio: Global Road Entertainment
Dave Bautista and Sofia Boutella are the best things about HOTEL ARTEMIS. Bautista as the aptly named Everest, The Nurse’s assistant at the Hotel Artemis, was funny, charming and a good playful sparring partner for Foster’s The Nurse. Bautista also showed all the tools necessary to be a standout action star all on his own and I hope that someday soon a smart producer in Hollywood will give him a shot to headline a big budget action movie.
Sofia Boutella starred as determined assassin Nice and she was charismatic, sultry and surprisingly vulnerable while also showing off some serious action movie chops of her own. In one of the rare moments of sustained action in HOTEL ARTEMIS, Boutella kicked butt impressively in a scene that brought to mind the “Hallway Scene” from OLDBOY. Boutella’s graceful almost balletic movements brought a sense of grace to the brutal fight scene.
The marketing of this film was such a bait and switch. If you watched any of the trailers or TV spots for HOTEL ARTEMIS you would not be out of bounds expecting a high octane action movie in the vein of JOHN WICK. Hell, the Hotel Artemis in the movie shared more than a few similarities with the Continental Hotel that is featured in the JOHN WICK film series but aside from an homage or an outright rip-off of that concept (I leave the decision up to you), there is not much that the two films share in terms of vibe and that is a big deal because the movie’s marketing went out of it’s way to make those comparisons seem like an actual thing. So instead of a slick action movie like we were sold, HOTEL ARTEMIS is a drab character study that has some action sprinkled throughout but never pulls the trigger on anything that would even approach taking advantage of the highly interesting premise.
The way this cast was, by and large, wasted by writer/Director Drew Pearce was almost criminal. If you are given a cast that includes Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Jenny Slate and Zachary Quinto and then squander them in unspectacular characters and ho-hum action…well you need to be called on the carpet for that big of a missed opportunity. Foster was hamstrung with a character that had a mountain of emotional baggage but the movie never gave us any interesting moments from that baggage at all. Goldblum had a great character on paper but in the movie he was onscreen for such a short time that nothing of interest came from him either. I was expecting Sterling K. Brown to be the “Black John Wick” but instead the movie gave me bupkis with his character. Jenny Slate’s character was a lame plot device. Quinto could have been something more but all of the possible avenues they could have taken with his character were ignored. It was just a shameful display of a movie not knowing what to do with the characters or the actors playing those characters.
Final Verdict: HOTEL ARTEMIS is a clinic in missed opportunities and wasted resources. This movie had all the ingredients to be a super fun instant action classic but squandered it and instead was just a mediocre disappointment.