We can all agree that a lot of movie sins can be forgiven if the movie is fun. Now, we’re not talking about your moving and quite dramas or gore exploitation films that aren’t quite exactly rambunctious thrill rides. I’m talking about comedies, action-thrillers, and you’re yearly blockbusters. If you want to get me into a movie, you’re going to have to be fun. It’s a kinetic energy that will soothe how nonsensical Jupiter Ascending is or that I’ll probably go watch Mamma Mia! repeatedly. You make something fun that it can brighten up your day and make you ignore the cracks.
Well, I’m trying to ignore the cracks with Hotel Artemis because it’s so absolutely entertaining.
Hotel Artemis is set in a dystopian Los Angeles circa 2028. With water being monopolised by the rich, the country has descended into chaos. In a secretive building (it has the biggest neon sign in the world but, yes, sure, it’s a mysterious place,) a make-shift and glamorous hospital caters to the weary criminals. Run by The Nurse, this pretty exclusive place will bandage up bullet wounds, fix your scars, and never judge you for your career choices. As long as you keep to the rules, that is, and, boy, some criminals are finding that very, very tricky.
Look, I’ll be honest; I’m really fighting my brain with this one. There is a logic gnawing its way through my enjoyment that is trying really hard to pick apart this film. I’m going to lay it on the line (because I’m professional and I want to be objective,) but Hotel Artemis has a lot of faults. There are plot elements that make little sense, characters that appear merely to chew the scenery, and the future setting serves little purpose than to show-off some cool technology such as a 3D printed liver. And Zachary Quinto is barely used.
However, Hotel Artemis has that beautiful movie elixir that skirts over a lot of the mistakes with this golden energy – fun. Jodie Foster really fleshes out her character of The Nurse and is having a whale of a time performing this skittish, cock-mouthed person with backstory, edge, and believe it or not, growth. Like her character she stiches and holds the piece together with her particular set of skills and one-liners.
Foster is flanked by impressive caricature folk who serve a purpose in one way or another. Sterling K. Brown is always a pleasure to watch and Sofia Boutella is a great femme fatale character. Dave Bautista plays the same character he always plays and yet it is genius: A big muscle-man who could kill you but also cuddle you at the same time. Charlie Day, Jeff Goldblum, and Jenny Slate are good additions too.
Drew Pearce is an inventive story-teller and this work is a testament to how he can bring big names in and make them all work in a charming and charged manner. He also develops a good looking vision; an art decor hotel filled with state of the art technology. It’s almost like a steam-punk styled movie and is reminiscent of movies such as Repo! the Genetic Opera. Everyone involved is enthusiastic and enjoyable to watch in a movie that is trashy in places, thrilling in others, and hilariously brilliant at times.
Through the drudgery and dust, may this shine a big neon sign and make you check in for a excellent stay.
Hotel Artemis is out 20th July.