Drew Pearce’s debut as a director sits in the grey area of the action genre, in the middle of the drama and comedy of life with a pinch of futurist thriller and lots of ambition, raising the bar of merely entertaining summer blockbusters – a very pleasant surprise for lovers of action flicks and good storytelling.
Set in 2028, Hotel Artemis depicts the day-to-day life inside the titular hotel, which is both a safe place and an emergency room for criminals. The world outside the building is threatening, with an apocalyptic vibe to it, a place where cops are hunted and everyone plays by the rules of the Wolf King, the official crime lord of LA, portrayed by the always on point Jeff Goldblum. Though his appearance is brief and placed in the film’s third act, Goldblum’s character will decide the fate of the guests in the hospital.
The biggest strength of the film is without a doubt its characters and the wonderful cast, which includes Jodie Foster as a nurse with a dramatic past who is now owner of the hotel. We encounter an anxious and emotional individual who becomes the true highlight of the movie in Dave Bautista’s Everest. Bautista, acting alongside Foster as the nurse’s assistant, provides plenty of comic relief and a balance to the relationship between the nurse and the crisis that is about to develop in her establishment. Sofia Boutella also shines as a lethal assassin – she is compassionate, fair and simply amazing in the scenes she takes part in. Her character is far from the kick-ass girl prototype, being the movie’s action hero.
The set design plays a huge role in driving the plot forward and keeping us invested in Pearce’s project. The settings never disappoint and most of the time they bring a certain vintage aesthetic to the whole film, more typical of a 50s spy movie than a futuristic action drama, a risk that works well also in the costume design and soundtrack.
Hotel Artemis tells a great story that doesn’t take itself too seriously but that has enough impact to make it unforgettable – something that doesn’t seem to be the norm for most Hollywood-made summer flicks.
Hotel Artemis is released nationwide on 20th July 2018.
Watch the trailer for Hotel Artemis here: