Hotel Artemis sets the stage with a great setup and cast but fails to capitalize on it by taking way too long to get going with an odd tone and dull action.
Director: Drew Pearce
Summary: Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, Hotel Artemis follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
There is absolutely no reason for Hotel Artemis to be as subpar as it is. It has a fantastic cast featuring Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, and more. It has a killer premise: a hospital where criminals can go to get medical help. The hospital has rules and runs on code names. The director was a writer on movies like Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Iron Man 3. It was an original idea in a summer that is filled with blockbuster sequels.
This all should have lined up, yet here we are with this forgettable dud of a movie.
This is a movie that has a bunch of ridiculous characters all running around, but the tone of the story doesn't match the tone of the characters. Charlie Day plays a coke-snorting arms dealer there to get his eye put back in his head because a woman smashed his face with a bottle of nail polish, and he's incredibly over-the-top. However, the movie that he's in is very serious and gloomy. With the kind of criminals hanging out at the Artemis, there should have been some over-the-top action scenes. Maybe take advantage of the R-rating and ramp up the gore to Tarantino levels.
Instead we get one hallway fight with Boutella's badass lady assassin with one fight scene in a hallway and a barely utilized Dave Bautista killing guys with an ax. Those are really the only two big action scenes there are in this entire movie. The rest of it is a slow burn of exposition as this near future is explained to us.
That's not to say there wasn't a little good in there. As previously stated, this is a great cast, and everyone performs their roles as well as the writing could allow them to. The idea is solid, even if the execution is all over the map. There are a few good kills, including one that is pretty brutal in the fun kind of way, which is what this movie should have been from the beginning.
Hotel Artemis is ultimately a poorly paced movie with a few good bits hiding among the long stretches where nothing happens. Not a terrible film but utterly forgettable and disposable.