2 1/2 Stars
Hotel Artemis disguises a thin concept by wisely casting recognizable faces in nearly every role. The performers bring their defined screen personas to the film, and writer/director Drew Pearce uses their collective talent to his creative benefit. Hotel Artemis is a mostly successful sci-fi/ noir/ action/ gangster flick because it’s well written and staged. This mix of different genres hasn’t worked out well in the past (think Mad Dog Time). Yet as presented in Hotel Artemis the taut storyline moves along briskly enough that we don’t have the time to contemplate some of the holes in the narrative.
This highly stylized film is an exercise in hard-boiled theatrics. An unsatisfying ending to the story leaves a bad taste and cripples the enjoyment of what had come before. This results in an inconclusive and open-ended finale. Pierce gives his character’s snappy dialogue and sets his action in an interesting environment, but the final product isn’t the sum of its parts. Hotel Artemis is a stylish effort that doesn’t resonate beyond its aesthetic appeal.
Director: Drew Pearce
Stars: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella