Drew Pearce (director)
20 July 2018 (released)
23 July 2018
Jodie Foster has been off our screens since 2013's Elysium, spending her time behind the camera directing Money Monster and episodes of TV shows like Black Mirror and Orange Is the New Black.
But she has made her very welcome onscreen comeback with Drew Pearce's directorial debut. Hotel Artemis is set in the dystopian future of 2028 Los Angeles, where a riot is taking place over the privatisation of water. Foster stars as The Nurse, who is in charge of running the members-only hotel-cum-hospital, a place for criminals in need of medical assistance, with her assistant Everest (Dave Bautista).
The hotel has a strict set of rules and its residents are assigned codenames depending on their rooms. Inside the hotel is Acapulco (Charlie Day), an arms dealer, and Nice (Sofia Boutella), an assassin. They are joined by Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and his brother Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry) after their bank robbery attempt goes wrong.
Everything is going smoothly into The Nurse breaks her own rules and lets in a cop named Morgan (Jenny Slate), who she knew from before, and with the arrival of the hotel's owner, crime boss The Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum), and his angry son Crosby Franklin (Zachary Quinto).
Foster is the glue that holds everything together at the hotel, and she has a commanding presence in the film. She is given witty lines and her deadpan delivery provides a lot of laughs, but she also gets the opportunity to show off her emotional side as The Nurse is harbouring a heartbreaking secret.
There are a lot of supporting castmembers, so it isn't too surprising that their characters aren't as fleshed out as The Nurse. Brown gets a lot to do with Waikiki, who is trying to get out of the robbery game, and has some nice moments with former lover Nice, whose purpose is to look sexy and kick butt, which she does in spectacular fashion towards the end.
Bautista essentially plays the same character we know him for in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jeff Goldblum does exactly what you would expect Jeff Goldblum to do. Slate isn't too vital to the story but she helps us learn The Nurse's heartbreaking backstory. The weakest links are Day, who spends most of his time whining and being annoying, and Quinto, who is extremely over-the-top as the hammy villain of the piece.
Writer and director Pearce presents a fresh and interesting idea that is intriguing to watch. It was cool to witness how the hotel is operated and what futuristic technology he's come up with. What follows doesn't quite live up to its exciting premise, but there is still a lot to enjoy with Hotel Artemis. It ticks many boxes - there is something for crime/gangster fans, action fans and those who enjoy a bit of bloody violence, a laugh, or a stunt setpiece.