Hotel Artemis SPOILER-FREE Review

Run Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes 

Rating: R 

Directed by: Drew Pearce 

Starring: Sterling K. Brown, Jodie Foster, Sofia Boutella 

What happens when you take a cool, John Wick-inspired story and add a really great cast? Well, you should get a really awesome movie. Emphasis on "should". Ever since I saw the first trailer for Hotel Artemis, I've been really looking forward to it. It has a stacked cast, including Sterling K. Brown, Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day, and Jeff Goldblum. They are all really good actors, and to have them all together sounded great. The film focuses on a hotel for criminals, run by Foster's character. The plot does sound heavily influenced by John Wick, but never for a second did I think it was actually ripping off John Wick; I thought it would be inspired by it, and that writer/director Drew Pearce could offer up a really cool film. Well, I was wrong. I was dead wrong. Hotel Artemis is a snooze-fest. The performances range from merely fine to cringe-worthy. The action (when there is any) is basic and typical. The story is not compelling, and neither are the characters. Hotel Artemis, while the technical side of things are well done, just doesn't have anything interesting about it, and it's a movie you will instantly forget about as soon as you leave the theater. 

None of the characters have any meat to them. They only true development they get is through blatant exposition dropped at our feet through endless dialogue scenes. All this movie is is characters talking. Now, that could be interesting if I actually give a shit about any of the characters, but I don't. The only one I slightly care about is Sterling K. Brown, and even then it's mostly because I like him as an actor. The characters are bland and entirely uninteresting, and the performances aren't much better. Brown does a decent job, but even he isn't outstanding. Everyone else is just kind of mediocre. Jodie Foster's character could have been really fascinating, but instead she is just plain annoying. Dave Bautista, who I love in Guardians of the Galaxy, is simply the big tough guy, and doesn't offer up anything outside of that. And Charlie Day just does his shtick. It works brilliantly on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but whenever he does it in movies it just falls flat. The worst offender by far is Zachary Quinto. He gives the only truly bad performance in the film. I wanted to fucking shoot myself whenever he was on screen. Luckily, he isn't in the film that much, but Lord Almighty was he bad whenever he popped up. The writing is atrocious. As I mentioned before, all the dialogue is pointless exposition that is trying to flesh out these characters, but that's the only development they have. When are screenwriters going to learn that characters are developed through the story, not through conversations? And even their dialogue is pretty bad. And nothing really happens! When you look at what actually occurs throughout the film, it's pretty minimal. Most of the movie is characters talking, and when you don't give a shit about any of the characters and the words they are saying are poorly written, it becomes excruciating to watch. 

The one positive thing I can say about this film is that everything on the technical side is competently done. The lighting, the editing, the cinematography, the make-up, the costume design-- it's all sufficient. All the shots are properly focused. The boom mic doesn't pop into frame or anything like that. So they did the bare minimum in not fucking up the technical side of things. Yay! The fact that the only thing truly positive thing I can say is that the cameraman didn't fuck up is really sad. Overall, this movie is a waste of time. None of the characters are interesting, and the story is not compelling in the slightest. There are maybe two brief action sequences, and they are average at best. Most of the film is dialogue scenes between the characters, which is hard to sit through. The dialogue is ridden with exposition, and it isn't very well written to begin with. The performances are all lackluster, with Zachary Quinto standing out as being downright horrendous. Sterling K. Brown is probably the best, but even he isn't superb. The one really good thing I can say is that all the technical stuff is competently done. At least it has that going for it. In the end, Hotel Artemis isn't worth your time. It may only be an hour and a half long, but it honestly feels like it is closer to two and a half hours. It's a hollow film, and after you finish watching it, you immediately realize that essentially nothing happened. If you were hoping for a movie to tide you over until John Wick: Chapter Three comes out next year, you're shit out of luck, because Hotel Artemis isn't it. 


What do you think? Have you seen Hotel Artemis? If not, are you planning on seeing it? Leave your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments section below. 

Written by: Nathanael Moln├ír
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