Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Review: Hotel Artemis

Hotel Artemis
Cert: 15 / 94 mins / Dir. Drew Pearce / Trailer

After honing his quill on the likes of Iron Man 3 and MI: Rogue Nation, Drew Pearce's first feature length writing and directorial gig, Hotel Artemis, shows all the signs of someone destined for cinematic magnificence. Just not quite yet.

Set in 2028 riot-torn Los Angeles, this tale of an exclusive private hospital for criminals certainly has a strong hook, and the precision-casting of Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista, Zach Quinto and Sir Jefferidge Goldblum only serve to raise the stakes further. But that cast also raises the expectation, which is where the movie falters a little.

The players are all on top form (Jodie Foster especially, although this should surprise no-one), and the wardrobe, set and prop design are outstanding. Near-future tech papers over slight cracks in the story, offset by a driving score from Cliff Martinez and a retro 70s diegetic soundtrack.

But the bottom line is that the actual story itself is weak, because the central characters are chronically underdeveloped, because the film's about half an hour shorter than it really should be. Elsewhere, the script is littered with clunky, needless exposition that attempts world-building (and sequel-baiting) before it's even finished the walls around the characters, and the violence (of which there is a substantial amount) feels nerfed down to levels of... well, a Mission Impossible movie, frankly.

Despite this, Hotel Artemis is still great fun and very promising, but there's little to get your teeth into…

So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
John Wick, Free Fire, Reservoir Dogs and even a little bit of Murder On The Orient Express.

Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
It is.

Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
When the price drops, it'll be a buy-er.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Everyone should feel very proud of what they've made, here.

Will we disagree about this film in a pub?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?

Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Sterling K. Brown is in this, and he was in that Black Panther along with Lupita 'Kanata' Nyong'o, Forest 'Gerrera' Whitaker and Andy 'Snoke' Serkis.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
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