- 23 Jul 18
There’s no honour among thieves, apparently – but damn if Jodie Foster doesn’t try to instil some. The proprietor of a thirteen story hotel-turned-hospital in the middle of a dystopian Los Angeles, Foster – known to most only as ‘The Nurse’ – will offer murderers, gangsters and criminals a place to hide and heal. But only if they follow the rules. Rule One? Don’t kill the other patients.
This proves difficult, given the volatile combination of guests. There’s a deadly French assassin (Sofia Boutella), a slimy arms dealer (Charlie Day, and two brothers and lifelong crooks (Sterling K. Brown and Brian Tyree Henry). So far, it’s just an average Wednesday in Hotel Artemis. But when The Nurse gets a call saying L.A. crimelord The Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum) is on his way for some TLC, things get complicated Director Drew Pearce’s vision is a blend of sci-fi and crime thriller set-pieces. News of water droughts and corrupt corporations creates an image of a world destroyed by capitalism, though The Nurse’s agoraphobia allows Pearse to avoid any complex world-building and focus on the action in the Artemis. The high-rise building full of criminals echoes recent gritty action films like John Wick and The Raid, and Pearce manages the fight sequences with a kinetic energy.
But Pearce also brings humour and a quirkiness to his visuals. The rooms in the toxically lit Hotel Artemis are themed after famous cities, so criminals stab each other against faded and gloomy murals of Nice and Hawaii, like a bloody Wes Anderson parody.