Over the weekend, if Hereditary was the movie that disturbed me the most, then HOTEL ARTEMIS was the most fun. I know, I know, the Rotten Tomato score doesn’t reflect that. But like all of my friends tell me, sometimes you just have to tell RT to go fuck itself. This is one of those times. This movie, while kind of ripping off the hotel in John Wick, was fun, weird, and crazy enough for me to consider it more unique from John Wick where I am going to believe that writer/director Drew Pearce maybe took that idea and made it his own. The film features an all star cast. You have Jodie Foster giving her best performance in decades, you have This Is Us’s Sterling K. Brown just radiating coolness, you have Jeff Goldblum being…well yeah Jeff Goldblum. You have Charlie Day finally playing someone other than Charlie on It’s Always Sunny, you have Sofia Boutella being as sexy as ever (and now right under Jennifer Lawrence for me in terms of celebrity crushes) and you even have Dave Bautista playing a different kind of role. Zachary Quinto and Jenny Slate are in this too and are great in the scenes they are in. Yeah, a lot of recognizable names. And while the movie has some predictability to it, my eyes never left the screen to look at my watch to see when the film would end. It is a wholly enjoyable tight 95 minutes of hammed up, scenery chewing performances, a little bit of action, and a weird little fun plot.
HOTEL ARTEMIS is a hotel, that is also a one woman hospital, that caters to injured criminals looking for someplace local to stay/hide. The hotel has strict rules. No weapons allowed inside. You must have membership to get in. No fighting or killing the other patients. No exceptions. Well, if there weren’t any exceptions we wouldn’t have a movie right? The movie takes place actually just ten years from now, 2028, and Los Angeles is currently under riots because apparently clean water is really hard to get these days, and a clean water company is cutting a lot of people off. Sterling K. Brown’s character and his brother get injured during a non related robbery and go to Hotel Artemis for safekeeping and medical care. Jodie Foster’s character runs the hotel, with Dave Bautista as her very loyal orderly. Little do the brothers know that the hotel is almost booked up, with some of the occupants looking to break the rules that night for their own gain, and that the true owner of the Artemis is about to pay a visit.
And that’s all I will tell you. The fun of the movie is going through the story, seeing what some of the criminals true intentions are, seeing who lives and who dies, and seeing all the actors ham it up. It’s very predictable mind you, but as I’ve said before in other reviews, it doesn’t matter if the journey is incredibly intoxicating. And it most definitely is here. I loved the slightly futuristic world. Enough tech for the world to advance just a little bit in a decade, and enough resources plummeting to make the riots seem timely, but not enough to make your eyes roll. I loved the tone of the film as well as the dark look of Los Angeles during the riots. I loved, loved, loved Jodie Foster’s performance as the one and only nurse that takes care of the criminals that happen to seek help. She’s neurotic enough to completely follow her rules and not move an inch, completely OCD in each and every way, but enough of a give to be able to have a redeemable arc. It’s her best performance since…well, I don’t know when, well, actually maybe Silence of the Lambs. Sterling K. Brown is great here to, radiating such cool that my hetero man crush on him just keeps going up after this, People Vs. O.J. Simpson, and This Is Us. Dave Bautista isn’t Drax here either, and Sofia Boutella is so damn charming and sexy its unbelievable. And is Jeff Goldblum having a Blumessiance? He very well could be. Zachary Quinto also proves he needs to be a psychotic leading man in his own movie. Instead of going through the rest of the actors one by one, trust me when I say they were all pretty good.
There is nothing more to say about this film other than that the direction was good, the action wasn’t too heavy and over the top, and it made me interested in taking another trip to the hotel somewhere down the line (with the box office take this weekend though, I doubt it). This is one of those very, very good switch off your brain times at the movies. Drew Pearce hasn’t done much, in fact this is his directorial debut, which he does have a good eye with framing and other camera work/skills that can only get better from here. It is definitely his best screenplay work to date, considering that he only came up with the story for Rogue Nation, and only wrote Iron Man 3 and one other Marvel One-Shot. Maybe something even more original next time, and not so predictable could come out of his future that to me, could be bright. But this is here, now, and this will do, because I definitely enjoyed my stay.