“Hotel Artemis” is a crime film that offers some good ideas, but never seems to deliver. This is one of those “Who Cares” type movies, where you love the designs, but you don’t care about anything else.
It takes place in Los Angeles of 2028, when the city suffers from some of the worst riots ever recorded. There is also the secret Hotel Artemis, which treats injured criminals. This is why the movie is fantastic to gaze at. It splices old fashioned designs with updated technology. Even some of the costumes match the scenery.
The hotel has a neon light sign, old fashioned wallpaper designs, an elevator floor indicator, laser technology, security alerts, and secure doors. It’s a great looking picture with brilliant production values, but I can’t say the same for the story or the character development.
And there’s one rule: No Killing Allowed.
The nurse (Jodie Foster) deals with a tragic past, involving her dead son, while tending to some new clients, including two bank robbers Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry), who both escape from a bad shoot-out; a cop she knows (Jenny Slate); and the owner of the hotel, better known as the Wolf King of LA (Jeff Goldblum).
Problems include the nurse bringing in the injured cop, and Waikiki stealing a portable bank in the form of a pen, both of which can cause big problems for the Wolf King. These things don’t really pay off.
The cast also includes Dave Bautista as the hotel’s muscle, who warns the nurse of the dangers of treating a cop in the hotel; Charlie Day as a coke head, who decides to escape from LA by ordering a helicopter; Zachary Quinto as the Wolf King’s potty-mouthed son; and Sofia Boutella as a French fatale, who plans to get revenge on the Wolf King.
I liked Foster, Brown, Day, and Bautista, but the rest of the great cast seems to go nowhere. They never got to me, so I had to rely on one liners and situations to explain some things. I don’t want just a great looking picture; I need a character study, and apparently, the movie failed to provide that.
Ergo, the story goes all over the place with these bullets, dialogue, and criminals. And even with some action going on, it’s still uninteresting.
Again, I love the art direction and the hotel design more than anything going on in the movie.
This is me checking out.
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