There is a segment in both the JOHN WICK action movies where Keanu Reeves who plays an assassin takes refuge in a special European Hotel. One has to be a member of this hotel to enter, of which certain rules must absolutely be followed. There must be no killings. Everyone must respect each other.
In HOTEL ARTEMIS, Jodie Foster plays the head nurse, Jean Thomas of the hotel. The only thing is that HOTEL ARTEMIS is not really a hotel but a hospital run by Thomas where the secret members-only can convalesce if they are shot, wounded or need medical attention. But when a cop is admitted all hell breaks lose and FREE FIRE occurs. HOTEL ARTEMIS plays like a cross between FREE FIRE and the JOHN WICK hotel segments. But the film does not work and interest wanes quickly.
The film tries hard to distinguish itself as being original. For one, it is set in the end future of a war-torn Los Angeles. The film begins with a rather violent bank heist, as seen from the robbers points of view. Some are killed and some are wounded. Two African Americans survive but one is wounded and has to be brought to the HOTEL ARTEMIS for hospital care, no questions asked. It is there where the audience is introduced to the no-nonsense head nurse who will not let anyone through the high security gates. She has a really nasty looking security guy, Everest (Dave Baustista), built like the mountain itself.
HOTEL ARTEMIS does to really work because the script and story have nowhere to go. No one really cares about any of the riff-raffs that enter hospital, who survives or who dies. The humour is off, neither black, neither camp, neither satirical and neither funny. Action segments are well executed, lifting the film a little, though this can hardly be classified as a true action film.
This is Jodie Foster’s first film after a long absence. She does well, though looking her age. The cast includes other minor actors including Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Pinto and Sofia Boiutella.
HOTEL ARTEMIS lastly suffers from a slip shod ending, which is expected given that the film’s whole story never leads anywhere. Do not book your stay at HOTEL ARTEMIS.