Film Review: Hotel Artemis

Drew Pearce’s crime thriller Hotel Artemis is an entertaining ride.  The film benefits from a good script and a solid cast.

In Los Angeles of the near future, the Nurse runs Hotel Artemis, a member-only emergency treatment centre for criminals. On a night when riots are taking place, she receives several visitors…

The idea behind Hotel Artemis is quite interesting, offering a hospital for criminal members under the guise of a dusty hotel. Immediately parallels will be drawn with John Wick. Pearce’s film distinguishes itself from this by placing emphasis on a number of different narrative strands. Inevitably these come together as the film progresses. 

The main strand follows the Nurse, who has been running the hotel for decades. Her story intersects with that of Nice and Waikiki. The Nurse is given sufficient background as the film progresses. Other characters do not receive the same attention. Nevertheless, this is not too much of a hinderance, with the action concentrating on the events of a single evening. Writer-director Pearce offers a good script. Dialogue is often funny, with some zinging lines.

Apart from the opening gambit at the bank, action is restrained until the final third of the film. At this point, Pearce unleashes the violence that has been building throughout. Action here is stylish, with Nice taking centre stage. Performances in the film are good. Jodie Foster is given the most to do, and she handles this typically well. Sofia Boutella is lively, while Sterling K. Brown is decent, when he is given screen time.

There is always the potential that balancing so many characters will be uneven, and Hotel Artemis suffers from this slightly. There are moments of emotion but these remain on the surface, as action quickly moves to the next scene. Notwithstanding, Drew Pearce has created an enjoyable picture with Hotel Artemis.

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