There’s a saying among film bloggers: never trust the trailer.for a movie. Hollywood designs trailers to run like mini-movies and show off the best parts of a film, which also serves to hide any flaws (though sometimes a film is so bad even a trailer can’t disguise its issues, just look at Pixels (2015)).
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make: I trusted the trailers for Hotel Artemis and it came back to bite me. The concept of a secret hospital for criminals is a sound one and it features a quality cast: Jodie Foster (in her first film in five years), Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Zachary Quinto, Dava Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, and so on. With this level of talent and an intriguing premise, Hotel Artemis had the potential to be amazing. But at the end of the day…it isn’t.
The biggest flaw in this story that I can see is that it tries to tell too many stories at once. It starts off simply enough: It’s the year 2028 and Los Angeles is embroiled in the largest riot in its history because a private company has shut off the water supply to most of the city. During the chaos, a bank robbery goes south and Sherman (Sterling K. Brown) takes his wounded brother to the Hotel Artemis to get treated by the Nurse (Jodie Foster). Once inside, patients are referred to by the room they’re staying in.
-Nice (Sofia Boutella): an assassin being treated for a gunshot wound
-Acapulco (Charlie Day): a smart-mouth arms dealer recovering from an assault
-Waikiki and Honolulu: Sherman and his brother
So far so simple right? The story quickly expands to include sub-plots involving Nice and an assassination job she must pull off; a wounded police officer seeking entry to the Hotel who happens to know the Nurse from way back; the sudden arrival of “the Wolf King” (a crime lord who “owns most of LA”) and his son (Zachary Quinto) who also owns the Hotel, the mystery behind how the Nurse’s son Bo died AND the revelation that Sherman’s brother unwittingly stole some diamonds from the Wolf King’s organization. It’s far too many elements to keep track of or care about and the film is a disjointed mess as a result.
It pains me to say this but Jeff Goldbum was completely wasted.in this story. He has barely any screen time and he’s out of the picture before you know it. Zachary Quinto is also criminally wasted. In fact, it feels like a large chunk of his character’s backstory is missing. Presented as the son of Goldblum’s Wolf King, he comes across as a whiny younger son with issues, however there’s not enough backstory given to explain why he’s acting this way.
There’s really not much more to say. Jodie Foster turns in a good performance, but it isn’t enough to save Hotel Artemis from being a mess.
What did you think of Hotel Artemis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!
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