Spoilers watch what they got, not what they hope for.
If I’d have categories for movies in my wishlists, this one would be what I would call a hopeful. I’ve heard close to nothing from it, and yet its premise was intriguing. I think it does do a good job with the setup, but as to the payoff, we’ll need to talk about it. I do remember reading a review about it being an unofficial sequel or a spinoff from another franchise, but it’s not and you shouldn’t be looking for any easter eggs or nods. It’s just its own thing. Show your membership and let’s go in.
Hotel Artemis (2018) was written and directed by Drew Pearce. In the midst of a city-wide riot in an alternate/future Los Angeles, two thieves are on the run after a botched bank robbery. Fortunately they do have a safe place, a hospital for criminals run by The Nurse (Jodie Foster). In there we know them by their membership names, Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown) and Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry). Waikiki has always looked out for Honolulu, who he considers his brother despite the fact the fact that he seems to have foiled everyone of his plans. With Honolulu gravely wounded, Waikiki has some tough decisions to make.
Helping The Nurse run the premises is Everest (Dave Batista) who seems to owe her his life. The other current admitted members are a shady arms dealer called Acapulco (Charlie Day) and the very lethal assassin Nice (Sofia Boutella). Things get complicated as an old acquaintance from The Nurse’s past, a cop called Morgan (Jenny Slate) appears to require urgent attention at the door. To make matters worse, the mafia boss of L.A. and literal owner of Hotel Artemis, Niagara (Jeff Goldblum) is in route and requiring urgent medical attention. This is announced by his volatile son Crosby (Zachary Quinto) who is pounding on the door.
Yes, it’s that kind of a film where you have a bunch of bad guys and worse guys cooped up in a small space fighting for the same resource, which in this case is the medical attention of The Nurse. You very quickly can identify who is playing in the “good” bad guy team and who’s in the real “bad” bad one. Rules will be broken and people will get killed. The premise is decent and the setup for about the first hour is engaging enough.
The issues start as we get in to the third act where the payoff begins and the plot sort of unravels. In order to provide the action, we have a couple of characters doing that selfless sacrificial act where they stay behind to ensure others get away. It’s largely unnecessary in the moment, but necessary for entertainment reasons. Without someone to fight, there is no confrontation. It could’ve been done better, but it’s not a complete loss. I’d say it does have some entertainment value enough to forget the plot holes along the way.
Lightly recommended except for a couple of reservations. It’s got some nice world building and a memorable environment albeit one that seems familiar. Some performances are ok and the ones that are over the top still make it watchable. I’d wish there was something of a heftier payback at the end. It’s just a standard ending that doesn’t have much of a bite. Worth a watch on a slow evening, but keep some snacks on the side.
That will do for now.