Hotel Artemis had some promising trailers but came and went in theaters rather quickly. The film has an all star cast leading off with Jodi Foster as an an alcoholic and pill popping nurse who has become the main source of help if you are a bad guy who has been injured while plying your trade. Shot, knifed, stub a toe or get a paper cut? Then Hotel Artemis is there for you. Set in 2028, the film is set amidst riots in Los Angeles when the water supply had been cut off by Clear Water Inc, a company that for some reason has complete power of the water supply. Anarchy and chaos rule the day.
To say that Hotel Artemis has an John Wick kind of feel, is an understatement. John Wick had the hotel where assassins seek refuge and and Pearce has borrowed heavily from that premise. That is not all bad. I can handle a film that spots a good thing and uses it in a homage, of sorts to the source material. But Hotel Artemis does nothing with it. Sure the look of the hotel is terrific but the story and characters populating the hotel are dull, uninteresting and nonsensical. Thus, Hotel Artemis is an utter disaster. At a run time of ninety-five minutes, the credits start rolling at eighty-six minutes so for some inexplicable reason there is about ten minutes of credits. For what, I ask?!
As I said, the cast is awesome. Along with Foster leading the way we have Sterling Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Bautista, Charlie Day, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Jenny Slate and Zachary Quinto. What could possibly go wrong? In this film, everything. Pearce has written a script that thinks its clever and witty but almost every attempt at humor falls flat. There is a subplot involving the good nurse (Foster) and her son who had been murdered years before, contributing to the nurse’s turn toward alcohol and pills. But every time the film tries to put a good foot forward with that story it pulls back to focus on the dregs populating the hotel, all of whom I could not have cared less about.
Hotel Artemis has very little that works. I liked Sofia Boutella and she is rocking in a red dress but these characters are derivative of countless other characters, all a lot more interesting than these. The residents of this hotel are not given much to do or say so anything that happens to them is inconsequential. The production values of the hotel look authentic and Cliff Martinez provides another amazing score. I am simple stunned that Martinez could create such an excellent score given the shoestring material he has been given to compose around. There is not one minute that feels authentic or real when it comes to the characters and their stories.
Hotel Artemis is a dreary, monotonous, stale film from out of the gate. I don’t know whose idea it was to give Jodi Foster some kind of weird accent and speech pattern but it quickly became irritating. The performers do their best to try and elevate this hackneyed material but it is all for naught. If you want a film or films that make ten times better use of this kind of lurid material, then the John Wick films are for you. Other than that, it is checkout time at the Hotel Artemis. Better yet, don’t check into this roach motel, to start with.
Hotel Artemis – * out of five
Hotel Artemis – Rated R for graphic language, graphic violence drug use and adult themes
Hotel Artemis – Run time is 95 minutes
If you still are bent on seeing this crap, Hotel Artemis is now available on DVD, On Demand and subscription services.