This screen of imagery only works superficially and Hotel Artemis’ inner core is exposed, showing just how shallow it truly is
Sitting on a plethora of ideas, Hotel Artemis is very much a film that doesn’t have full grasp of where it is heading, or what it wants to do. Instead, the film looks to over-indulgent fight scenes, a dark and moody demeanour, and a plot about as unpredictable as the Japanese train service to cover up its flaws. This screen of imagery only works superficially and Hotel Artemis’ inner core is exposed, showing just how shallow it truly is.
After robbing a bank, Sherman (Sterling K. Brown) and Lev need cover and healthcare. With only one place in mind, the pair head to Hotel Artemis, an establishment run by The Nurse (Jodie Foster), aiding criminals in need of hiding and medicine. However, the Hotel’s cover is blown by a tracking device, and it soon becomes a war zone filled with incredibly dangerous crooks.
There seems to be no understanding from within the production that this is an incredibly limiting film despite offering up an open ended idea. The ‘hospital for criminals’ device is actually one of infinite potential, but the insistence of taking Hotel Artemis down a path of cliched action violence utilises none of this power. It feels like a persistent resistance to display any form of individuality, succumbing to the evident negatives of modern cinema.
Hotel Artemis isn’t without positives; a good performance from Dave Bautista, an intriguing lead in Jodie Foster and a cameo from Jeff Goldblum provide the film’s best moments, but these performances only allude to the potential the film originally had.
Denying itself of any real quality, Hotel Artemis is very much a wasted opportunity. It will find an audience, but not critically or perhaps as broadly as its premise allowed. A weak story only adds to the misery, becoming another layer on top of an already crowded pile of crappy action features.
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