2018, Movies

Hotel Artemis (2018, Drew Pearce)

Imagine if the Continental Hotel from John Wick was a hospital, in addition to being a hotel, and it was the focus of the film, and the protagonist of the film was Lance Reddick’s character and you get some idea of this weird movie, but hardly all.

This is a weird one. There are many things I can’t really get my head around. One of them is setting for the plot: if you want to tell a story of a woman who lost people and who has devoted her life to helping criminals, you can tell that story without setting it in a post-apocalyptic future, right? Apparently not, but the issue is that there isn’t all that much effort put into the post-apocalyptic part of it, it’s just sort of window dressing. (It’s a little bit like Assault on Precinct 13 without the assault.)

The cast is really good, and it’s one of those movies where you’re wondering why all these famous people are in this movie. Foster and the others are very committed, but Foster in particular does an excellent job, as if she’s unaware of how silly this all is.

And the film is sort of unaware too. It’s not funny very often and not trying to be, but the circumstances are totally absurd so it’s weird that it’s not played for comedy. I think that would grate but the movie is short enough, and so full of plot, that it doesn’t.

I was not bored, but I was kind of confused by the whole thing. It doesn’t feel like the broader setting is necessary to the story and that is the weakest part of the film by far, causing so many questions. (Most of the plot holes I noticed concerned what was going on outside.) Just a strange movie.


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