“Hotel Artemis” stars Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, and Dave Bautista. Released on June 8, 2018, the film is about a nurse who runs a secret hospital for criminals.
The film features the directorial debut of Drew Pearce, who is known for creating the British TV sitcom, “No Heroics”, and served as a writer for “Iron Man 3” and “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation”. We now have another film that features a first-time director, but this time, it’s someone that we’re pretty familiar with. There were plenty of reasons why I was looking forward to this latest action thriller, most notably the cast and its concept. When you have a film that involves a hospital made for injured criminals, it could translate to either a fun, B-movie ride or an hour-and-a-half-long pilot for a possible television show. From my perspective, this film falls somewhere in the middle.
While the story didn’t quite live up to its futuristic premise, the film at least provided a few amusing moments that kept it from being a one-star hotel. The cast consists of many familiar faces, ranging from Jodie Foster as Jean Thomas to “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Dave Bautista as Everest, Jean’s trusted companion. The character of Jean Thomas was able to provide the most amount of interest in terms of her personal conflict, and Foster did a really nice job at displaying this type of character. It’s just a shame that the storytelling didn’t provide any emotional punches to make it more believable. Despite their characters being somewhat one-dimensional, the rest of the actors have enough wit and star power to prevent this one-night stay from being a total disaster, such as Brown, Boutella, and Day as the hotel’s “guests”. Day’s performance in this film was quite different compared to his comedic roles in the past, which I thought was a nice change of pace for the 42-year-old actor, although his character’s foul language felt more like an annoyance rather than just R-rated witty dialogue. There were some sequences that were nicely-executed due to Pearce’s direction and Chung Chung-hoon’s cinematography, such as the action scenes. Unfortunately, they fell short of being highly intense and entertaining. I’m not joking, there isn’t a single action scene that stood out to me throughout the entire film. Considering the fact that it’s directed by the guy who wrote the scripts for two action blockbusters, this was a pretty big let-down for me.
Overall, while the cast and its concept had enough moments to keep it open for business, “Hotel Artemis” is more of a three-star hotel rather than a five-star hotel. Its average storytelling, one-dimensional characters, and some underwhelming, yet violent, sequences may prevent more guests from checking in, but as a film built for those who enjoy watching average action thrillers, it’s a fine watch. This isn’t the best way for Pearce to start off his directing career, but you know what they say, you can’t always expect your first directorial effort to be perfect.