Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, ‘Hotel Artemis’ follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
‘Hotel Artemis’ is a fun neo-noir centering on an old art deco style hotel which doubles as a secret hiding place for wounded criminals. In Drew Pearce’s directorial debut, we spend most of the runtime within this hotel, set in a future Los Angeles in the midst of riots and disorder over a water crisis. The hotel is a safe haven for criminals where they can be treated for any injuries away from the chaos of the streets by Jodie Foster’s nurse and hotel manager and we’re introduced to several colourful characters that are staying at the hotel over the course of the runtime. If you can imagine what a film solely set within a grubbier, less glamorous ‘The Continental’ from ‘John Wick’ would look like, then ‘Hotel Artemis’ won’t be too far away from that vision and that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.
The film begins with a bank robbery where two brothers (Sterling K. Brown & Brian Tyree Henry) and their crew attempt to use the nearby riots as cover to safely rob the bank and make their escape. This doesn’t quite go to plan and a shootout ensues which leaves one of the brothers badly injured, leading them to the Artemis for treatment and to recover. I really liked the style of the hotel which felt like a decaying 1920s design hidden in a futuristic world and the room names (based on popular 20s holiday destinations) doubling as character names was a cool touch. Jodie Foster is really good as the nurse even if the attempts to flesh out her backstory never quite works successfully, and it was good to see Sterling K. Brown get the opportunity to show off his leading man credentials. Other inhabitants are played by Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day and Jeff Goldblum, whilst Dave Bautista continues an impressive run as Foster’s assistant.
The film is reminiscent of action orientated sci-fi from the 80s or 90s and I suspect works such as ‘Escape from New York’ and ‘Demolition Man’ may have had some influence on the setting and style, but ‘Hotel Artemis’ is strong enough to stand on its own, even if it feels like it could have done a bit more with the tongue in cheek performances and the wider story surrounding the hotel. If all you’re looking for is a fun 90 minute sci-fi action romp then ‘Hotel Artemis’ fits the bill and it’s worth checking out.
Directed By: Drew Pearce
Starring: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista and Kenneth Choi