Coming this Friday from writer/director Drew Pearce and Global Road Entertainment is the story of membership to the exclusive “Hotel Artemis.”
It is 2028 and the city of Los Angeles is about to be taken over by riots when the residents decide they’ve had enough. In the middle of the mayhem are two brothers who pick the wrong time to pull a heist.
Shot up and running from the cops, the end up at the Hotel Artemis, an exclusive hotel that caters as a secret and safe place for criminals. Running the floor is The Nurse (Jodie Foster), a woman who clearly has seen the rear-end of life but knows her stuff. She is assisted by the very large Everest (Dave Bautista) who handles anyone that gets out of line.
The Nurse immediately gives the brothers the names Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and Honolulu (Brian Henry) according to their suites. Waikiki managed to avoid harm with a kevlar vest but brother Honolulu isn’t so lucky. She immediately goes to work but it definitely is a hot mess.
There are other guests already on the floor with the ever complaining Acapulco (Charlie Day) and the lovely Nice (Sofia Boutella). All The Nurse asks is that the guests have no weapons on the floor, no cops and don’t kill the other guests.
While working on Honolulu, she gets a call from Crosby Franklin (Zachary Quinto), the arrogant offspring of the Hotel Artemis owner Niagara (Jeff Goldblum). He threatens that if anything happens to his father, The Nurse will pay — dearly.
If she didn’t have enough to worry about with a full house, she catches on her camera a young woman calling out her name. Helping her is going to cause problems but it seems The Nurse specializes in solving the unsolvable.
As the riot moves ever closer, the Hotel Artemis starts to break down as the guests get nervous about the outside getting in. Maybe they should worry more about how to get out before that happens!
Foster as The Nurse is absolutely brilliant! I love this character with her frailties, flaws, uncertainties and memories yet she can put a body back together in no time flat. Spending years on this special floor, Foster’s character is run down having seen almost everything — almost. I have always been a fan of Ms. Foster’s (“Contact” is a guilty pleasure) and this character is just stunning.
Brown as Waikiki is dealing with a brother who consistently screws things up, a run in with a former lover and getting the inside scoop on the inner workings of Hotel Artemis. All of that will come in handy when what his brother innocently took turns out to the be one thing that will get them killed. Brown does a remarkable job of being smooth under pressure and never once raises his voice although he certainly has plenty of reason too.
Boutella as Nice is simply a woman who has a job to do and no one or nothing is going to get in her way. Knowing her worth, it is a joy to see her take on the employer! Day as Acapulco is annoying, narcissistic and out for himself — yet he does it so damn well.
Bautista as Everest is a bodyguard as well as a “health care provider” who shows intense loyalty to The Nurse and doesn’t suffer fools. Knowing what is the right thing and actually doing it doesn’t seem to be an issue for him, he just wants to follow the rules and get through the riot alive.
Goldblum as Niagara has some explaining to do but then again it’s Goldblum, his mere presence tends to be enough for me. Quinto as Crosby needs to be slapped several times but that’s the parent in me talking, and Slate as Morgan shows us that there is more to The Nurse than anyone has ever known.
Other cast include Kenneth Choi as Buke, Josh Tillman as P-22, Evan Jones as Trojan Nash, Nathan Davis Jr. as Rocco and Ramses Jiminez as Tariq.
“Hotel Artemis” is a place where bad guys go to find safety and be patched up if needs be. What it doesn’t know how to do is survive this batch of crazy people in the middle of a rioting city. Managing to keep it together long enough for the audience to learn the backstory in the 93-minute film is perfect, anything longer would have ruined it.
It twists and turns down the hotel hallways giving us quick stories and an equal amount of action to go along with it. I suppose what made me the happiest is that it wasn’t a prequel, sequel, retelling or remaking of another story. That in itself deserves high praises and I’m sending it their way.
Director Pearce gives us something different and although I followed along a little too easily, I had a good time. There is something to be said for quick and to the point and “Hotel Artemis” gives exactly that.
In the end — no guns, no cops and no killing the other patients!