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Movie Review: “Hotel Artemis”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Hotel Artemis

Theatrical Release: 6/8/2018

Theatrical Release: 6/8/2018

Synopsis

After a heist goes wrong and his sibling gets shot, there is only one person for a retired criminal (Sterling K. Brown) to call: The Nurse (Jodie Foster) at Hotel Artemis. Over the past couple of decades, The Nurse has run a secret hospital for criminals. This hospital is known as Hotel Artemis, and it is fully equipped with the best, state-of-the-art medical equipment that 2028 has to offer. It also, however, has a strict set of rules that were designed to keep the staff and patients safe. The first and most important rule is that only members are allowed in. On top of that, members are not allowed to hurt or kill other members within the hotel, members cannot insult the staff, members cannot talk about the hotel on the outside, and members must go by temporary aliases while checked-in. Should a member break any of these rules, their membership will be revoked and they will have to answer to the hotel's enforcer, Everest (Dave Bautista).

Now that he is checked in to the hotel, and given an alias, "Waikiki" (Sterling K. Brown) quickly learns that his brother has stolen from a powerful crime-lord, who just so happens to own the hotel. To make things worse, this crime-lord is on his way to the hotel and he has built a reputation for killing those who have stolen from him. There is also suspicious activity occurring from one of the other current patients and there is a dangerous city riot approaching that could threaten the hotel’s security. With all of this happening, the hotel may not be as safe as advertised, but Waikiki must try to get him and his brother out discretely before the crime-lord arrives and discovers who stole from him.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then awarded for each Pro and taken away for each Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points ranging from 0-10 allowing me to convey to you how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Jodie Foster (+5pts)

Crosby Franklin (-3pts)

Hotel Artemis (+7pts)

Acapulco (-3pts)

Waikiki & Nice (+6pts)

Focus & Plot (-8pts)

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Pro: Jodie Foster (+5pts)

Jodie Foster does not pop up in much these days, but when she does, she knocks it out of the park. She seemed to transform into this character. Sure, the makeup aged her up, but between her walk and the way she talked, she became this character in a fascinating way. This character had suffered a tragedy, after which she began working as the Nurse in Hotel Artemis. She had been doing this for over twenty years and had hardly stepped foot outside since taking on the role.

I liked this character and really enjoyed Jodie Foster’s performance. I could see her pain, but she remained strong-willed and got the job done nonetheless. She was also a no-nonsense nurse who had clearly dealt with her fair share of annoying patients. Jodie Foster was able to show the character’s pain, and her strength, and she was able to do so in a captivating way. This was a great actress playing a unique character in a unique movie, and it was a combination that worked really well for this movie.

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Con: Crosby Franklin (-3pts)

While some of the characters were compelling, others were generic and one-dimensional. Crosby Franklin (Zachary Quinto) was one of the latter. He was the son of the crime-lord and he was unnecessarily angry. He treated the Nurse with hostility for no real reason, which was made stranger when the crime-lord showed up and treated her with the utmost respect. He came across as an egotistical, spoiled child of a crime-lord, and there was really nothing more to him than that.

The filmmakers did a poor job at explaining this character’s attitude and he ended up just being an angry, mean character for the sake of having an angry, mean character. Zachary Quinto did what the role required him to do, but there was simply no screen-time to flesh the character out to any degree. There a lot of big name actors playing a lot of different characters. Some of these characters got compelling character development, but for Crosby Franklin, the writers clearly got lazy and delivered a generic, one-note character that audiences will find uninteresting and forgettable.

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Pro: Hotel Artemis (+7pts)

This movie definitely had a unique premise. It will remind audiences of the Continental Hotel from the John Wick movies, but it was very much its own thing. Unlike the Continental Hotel, Hotel Artemis was actually a fully equipped hospital for criminals and assassins. It had 3D printers for spare organs, laser cutting tools for surgical procedures, tons of drugs, and a nurse capable of using it all effectively.

The medical side of the hotel was cool, but I also enjoyed the secretive aspect. The hospital had a pretty intense security system, only let members check-in, and members had to go by code names when inside. There were a strict set of rules that included no member-on-member violence—which is what made me think of the Continental Hotel from John Wick—and a mountain of an enforcer, appropriately named Everest. It was a unique concept and the filmmakers certainly played around with all of its rules in an entertaining way. Sure, it was a bit of a gimmick, but it was an entertaining gimmick.

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Con: Acapulco (-3pts)

Another underdeveloped, one-note character was Acapulco (Charlie Day). When we met this character, he was already a patient at Hotel Artemis. He had a pretty big ego, with a heavier sense of entitlement to go along with it. He thought Nice (Sofia Boutella) was beneath him, and he was clearly not above throwing around the fact that he was rich and powerful.

That was pretty much this character in a nutshell. He was constantly whining, making demands, and he was physically not intimidating. The character was intended as the movie's comedic relief, and Charlie Day clearly did his best, but the character ended up falling flat. He was underdeveloped and uninteresting, so audiences will not care about him, nor will they find him very amusing.

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Pro: Waikiki & Nice (+6pts)

The filmmakers of Hotel Artemis definitely dropped the ball with a few of its characters, but I was surprised to see how well they handled Waikiki and Nice (Sofia Boutella). Waikiki was at Hotel Artemis to take care of his brother. He could have had a very successful life as a well-paid criminal, but he had always been held back by trying to look after his brother. He also had a bit of a romantic relationship with Nice that was never fulfilled due to the same reason. I thought there was a lot of depth to Waikiki, and Sterling K. Brown brought this to the screen masterfully.

The unsatisfied emotional tension between Waikiki and Nice was compelling, but Nice was dealing with an internal struggle of her own. She was dealing with being an extremely high-paid and successful assassin who wore an eye implant that recorded her kills for her clients to see. Nice had internal conflict regarding this, which Sofia Boutella made compelling to watch, but her action sequences were very entertaining as well. You will truly believe that this character was a well-trained, extremely dangerous, badass assassin, as the action involving this character fully supported this. There was one scene in particular in which she fought about ten thugs in hand-to-hand combat, and it was an absolute blast to watch, but this character was honestly effective whenever she was on screen.

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Con: Focus & Plot (-8pts)

I think the filmmakers bit off a little more than they could chew with this movie. The Nurse, Waikiki, and Nice were well developed, complex characters, but the rest of the characters were underdeveloped and one-dimensional. Normally, three well-developed characters would be a good thing, but with a cast as stacked as this on, too many one-dimensional characters can make a movie feel crowded. The filmmakers just did not have the screen time to focus on all of the characters and plot points that they wanted to and the plot definitely suffered for it.

Why did the crime-lord actually show up to Hotel Artemis? What was the plot significance of stealing the crime-lord’s pen? How did Nice know her target would be at the hotel? These were all pretty significant plot related questions, and the filmmakers never answered any of them. This left some pretty major plot holes in the story, that taking out a few one-dimensional characters would have given filmmakers screen-time to resolve.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

movie-review-hotel-artemis

Grade: C+ (79pts)

Hotel Artemis had a really cool premise that had some similarities to the Continental Hotel from the John Wick series. Hotel Artemis was a secret, members-only hospital for criminals and assassins. There were a strict set of rules that patients had to follow, which included no member-on-member violence. The exclusive membership aspect was similar to the hotel in John Wick, but this movie took it a step further by making it an emergency room, instead of a normal hotel. This was a pretty unique premise and it was a lot of fun to explore this idea for the movie's duration.

Unfortunately, the movie suffered from some focus issues. The cast was a little too cluttered for the filmmakers to handle, as we got a handful of characters who ended up being very generic and one-dimensional. Most of the movie's characters—and the plot—seemed to suffer from the filmmakers focusing more heavily on Waikiki, Nice and the Nurse. Sterling K. Brown gave a lot of depth to Waikiki, Sofia Boutella effectively played the bad-ass assassin with a lot of internal conflict, and Jodie Foster was captivating to watch as she dealt with her character's tremendous pain. These three characters were great, but the rest of the characters seemed to get little or no development. It was an entertaining and interesting movie, but it suffered from a cluttered cast and it had a plot that was riddled with plot holes.

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