Review: No reason to check into 'Hotel Artemis'
Jodie Foster stars in this wannabe hip tale about a hospital for bad guys, a concept that was put to better use in the much better 'John Wick.'
If the idea of a hotel for bad guys sounds familiar, that's because it was a plot point in "John Wick." And try as it might, the dull, laboring "Hotel Artemis" is no "John Wick."
Here the hotel is a hospital, where bad guys and girls can stay, get patched up and not have to answer questions about how they got banged up or what happened to the other guy. There are a strict set of rules -- first and foremost, no killing of other guests while under the hotel roof -- and everything indoors is confidential.
It's a cool concept -- it worked in "Wick" -- but nothing else is cool about this vapid exercise in style. It recalls Joe Carnahan's "Smokin' Aces," another would-be hip, violent action film that puffed out its chest and thought it was way more awesome than it really was.
Somehow, writer-director Drew Pearce coaxed Jodie Foster into taking her first on-screen role in five years. She plays the Nurse, who runs the Artemis, stitching up those who need sanctuary from the chaos erupting in the streets, where its 2028 and L.A. is rioting over water shortages.
Disorder is so rampant that Everest, the Artemis' orderly-slash-handyman (Dave Bautista, mining the humor no one else taps into) barely bats an eye when he sees a helicopter smash into a nearby skyscraper.
Inside, guests include a shrill businessman (Charlie Day, more annoying than ever), an assassin (Sofia Boutella), a bank robber (Sterling K. Brown) and the hotel's owner, a crime kingpin called the Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum). There's no reason to care about any of them. "Hotel Artemis" wants to wow you with its sharp look and chic attitude, but all it will remind you is how much better off you'd be watching "John Wick."
Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use
Running time: 94 minutes