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Review: Hotel Artemis

Sterling K. Brown and Jodie Foster in Global Road Entertainment's HOTEL ARTEMIS

Hotel Artemis seemed to have the potential to be a good little movie that plenty of people could really get into. Not only does it seem to have all of the qualities to be a fun action flick, it is also being released when at a time when people could use something different from all of the big budget movies being released. While that stuff is working in its favor, you still need to execute. You also need to be able to give viewers something close to what they want.

Set in the summer of 2018 in a riot-torn Los Angeles, Hotel Artemis stars Jodie Foster as a nurse who runs a hotel that’s actually more of an exclusive hospital for criminals. Due to a policy that doesn’t allow weapons, this could be a nice place to hold up in for a while if you’re not able to get out of town. The only problem with that is that things look to be getting more dangerous when some of the shady elements on the outside begin to force their way in.

Based purely on how it’s been promoted, many will go into Hotel Artemis believing that they’re getting a crazy action flick. On the surface, it has all the key ingredients to give us that, but that’s actually nowhere near close to where we end up. Instead of getting a bunch of extreme violence flowing throughout, we get something that undeniably belongs in the drama category of film.

To some, this could be a really negative thing. That feeling wouldn’t be of their own doing. In fact, Hotel Artemis is being marketed as an action movie. I don’t know if Hollywood has learned this lesson yet, but misleading people in this manner is never the way to go.

And I’m not saying that this is a bad picture. In this instance, the disappointment may simply come down to the movie not being what people were anticipating beforehand. When you throw in some actors whose performances have mostly taken place within the action genre and promote the few action scenes you have in the film in the advertisements, people may be upset with what they actually get.

That’s unfortunate, because a lot of what we’re getting is at least decent. Plus, much of what’s here is set up well enough and is able to maintain a level of consistently. I guess there were plenty of times where they could introduce action based solely on the way it’s set up, but we rarely get any of that when those opportunities arise.

Like everyone else, I was my expecting more action as well going into it. I was hoping for some insane stuff, but I would have settled for more good, conventional fights as well if that’s all they were willing to offer. Although the action isn’t given to us in the amount that I wanted, what we do get when it shows up is entertaining enough to make you wonder how good it could have been had they included more of it.

Unfortunately, most of the action is at the start and the end. In between that, there’s a ton of drama and even some form of comedy mainly from the likes of Charlie Day and Dave Bautista. Other than that, we’re asked to follow the nurse during a busy night in this hospital for criminals. She’s trying to keep things together with the help of Everest (played by Bautista), her right hand man.

Even thinking about it, there’s an interesting concept behind this, but it’s not executed as well as it should have been. I like the idea of following her around throughout the hotel on this dangerous night in town. Whether you’re looking at who’s inside or outside, there are so many combustible elements surrounding her that you could build on that tension right there. Instead, they decided to make her an intricate part of the film’s plot by introducing a backstory that’s completely unnecessary and has a difficult time fitting in with everything else that’s being shown.

There comes a point where you look back and realize that this was one of the features of Hotel Artemis that could have been removed completely without altering the movie in any way. If you do that, you would have to eliminate another character or two, but that’s fine since neither one of them are in the movie long and don’t have anything to do with the film overall.

I don’t completely know how well Hotel Artemis will be received by people who actually see it, but I found this to be a slightly above average affair that missed on an opportunity to leave a mark. For some, what they get could be enough, but I’m thinking most may require a little more of what was being promised to them. I can understand how the lack of action may distract certain viewers from the quality of the film’s positive aspects, but if you know this ahead of time, maybe there’s a chance to watch this and still be able to like what is actually here.

Rating: R

Director: Drew Pearce

Jodie Foster
Sterling K. Brown
Sofia Boutella
Jeff Goldblum
Brian Tyree Henry
Jenny Slate
Zachary Quinto
Charlie Day
Dave Bautista

Film Length: 93 minutes

Release Date: June 8, 2018

Distributor: Global Road Entertainment

  • Score - 6.5/10
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