The most satisfying aspect of Hotel Artemis is the beautiful world building. Almost totally absent from the trailer, writer/director Drew Pearce creates a vivid and believable sci-fi universe that I already crave more of. The blend of pure talent from the cast, the gritty near-future setting, and effective storytelling prove that you can create a compelling film with even the most basic of stories.
Every part of the world of Hotel Artemis lives and breathes in a way that is believable. Everyone is surrounded by screens and tools that they take nearly for granted, medical technology that feels like the future come-to-life, but without feeling like deus ex machina. The story for Hotel Artemis serves entirely as a framework on which to build the universe around the hotel.
Set in a world where Los Angeles is disintegrating, Hotel Artemis follows the story of a pair of wounded bank robbers as Nurse Jean (Jodie Foster) cares for them in her daily routine of maintaining a black-market members only hospital for criminals during the city-wide water riots. The straightforward story is purely a vehicle for exploring the characters and setting. The plot takes its time unfolding, giving plenty of time for developing each character and their motivations. This is one of the better ways to use an excellent cast like the one that appears here.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Jodie Foster’s performance stands far and above the others, especially given that her character has the most nuanced writing. Acting isn’t always a competition, though, and everyone contributes meaningfully to the narrative in a way that plays to their strengths as actors. Between Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy, and now Hotel Artemis, Dave Bautista is quickly becoming a favorite actor of mine. I look forward to seeing him in all kinds of roles as he displays quite the range of ability and an entertaining screen presence.
Zachary Quinto is everything you probably loved about him before. He’s a solid pick who has a brooding character that you love to hate, and it’s fun to watch a film that knows exactly how to use that. Do I even have to say anything about Jeff Goldblum? He’s great. He’s great in everything. And this is just scratching the surface. Every actor in this has fans who are getting exactly what they love from them.
All of this talented acting is put to fantastic use by the director, who uses every aspect of their on-screen presence for storytelling. Whenever a director tells me about a character with the expression on their face and the way their movement interacts with the camera, that is a win, and it happens throughout the film.
My only regret is that there just wasn’t more substance to the story. This isn’t a bad thing, and I don’t think many people will care given how every other aspect of the experience shines; but, I don’t think it’s possible to say more with your story while also getting all of the other aspects right. Hopefully later entries into this universe will push more limits with their stories.
Overall, the Blade Runner/Total Recall vibe that the whole experience gives off is just so rare and delightful that Hotel Artemis scratches a deep itch in a way that leaves you craving more. I already want a sequel and to learn more about these characters and this place. This sci-fi action is an instant classic and a must watch for anyone who enjoys a science-fiction adventure.
|Final Verdict:||An instant classic and a must watch for anyone who enjoys a science-fiction adventure.|