Director: Drew Pearce
Cast: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista
RunTime: 1 hr 34 mins
Rating: NC16 (Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 28 June 2018
Synopsis: In HOTEL ARTEMIS, set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, Jodie Foster plays The Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
[WARNING: MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS]
In a world full of unpredictability and extreme possibilities, one is left to imagine how the world would evolve and how it turns out to be for better or for worse.
Fast forward to 21st June 2028, where Los Angeles is in a state of emergency due to epic riots over rights and while everyone is out either creating a racket or trying to save themselves, a lady nurse saves criminals within her secret exclusive members-only ‘hospital’.
Hotel Artemis is mysterious and sinister. This film is not a regular story and the beauty in the film lies in the darkness of the content and the idea of a futuristic setting that is not overly ridiculous and not outrageously far-fetched, making it relatable and idealistic at the same time.
The rather simplistic plot was given a dark and deeply intense approach, paving the way for most parts of the film. It helped that the setting and cinematography give viewers a sense of confusion and slight anxiety, which was rather thrilling at times especially when one has to deal with stunning gruelling scenes filled with gore.
Amidst the gruesomeness and graphic scenes lie a story of guilt, hope and strength. A story of a lady nurse seeking to fight her fears and closure from a horrific incident. A story of a criminal with a heart and a desire to protect the ones he love. A story of a cop who sees no evil in even the darkest moment.
These are just a few of the many stories that the characters, played by a somewhat stellar cast, portrayed in this film. The smooth deliverance of each actor and actress made the film exciting and believable, with must conviction and gusto. What is also pleasant is the fact that most of the characters are referred to just by nicknames, giving a sense of discretion and mystery, which fits in well with the film’s theme.
Despite such great depth and interest, the film was strangely unable to connect with the viewers, as it was toying between being an epic comic-like action thriller, like Hellboy and being an offbeat silent thriller that creeps into you, like Get Out. The indecisiveness of the direction let to the film being weak.
Other weak points of the film include slight lapses in continuity and storytelling and an ambiguous ending, which can either be understood with much positivity and enlightenment or with much confusion and discontent, depending on the angle that you look at.
Overall, Hotel Artemis is still worth watching and even with grotesque and graphic scenes, which might be slightly unbearable, this original film still stands out uniquely among other films of the same genre. If only the director was able to grasp the right formula to fully bring out the essence of the film, it would have been much, much greater than it is right now.
(A dark film that is interesting enough to warrant a watch without too much expectations. Some scenes are really not for the faint hearted)
Review by Ron Tan