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Jodie Foster – Jean Thomas / The Nurse
Sterling K. Brown – Waikiki / Sherman
Sofia Boutella – Nice
Jeff Goldblum – Orian Franklin
Brian Tyree Henry – Honolulu / Lev
Jenny Slate – Morgan
Charlie Day – Acapulco
Dave Bautista – Everest
The movie opens with Jean putting a vinyl on her record player. She then packs her medical tool bag and proceeds to the main reception area of the Hotel Artemis. She shuffles down the carpeted hallway to the sound of California Dreamin by The Mamas & the Papas, which makes a strangely effective opening to a movie. As the folk rock tune booms out, Foster’s aged face stares directly ahead as her character prepares to meet her next guest. This scene has a haunting feel to it, and this works well, given how commonplace her activity is.
Foster remains a grizzly presence throughout Hotel Artemis. She delivers her lines (some of them very funny) with superbly icy precision; short sentences and wisecracks received by her co-stars that add great humour to a rather dark story. She does this with rigid bodily movement and gestures which set her very far apart from other roles she has played in the past. The woman makes a fantastic matriarch and is a pleasure to watch. Alongside her are a mixed bag of actors including Dave Bautista, who is an intimidating meaty giant with fists of steel employed to protect the hotel, amongst other things. Sofia Boutella who radiates a strong air of femininity at the same time as being a hostile bitch. Charlie Day brings a cheeky yet detestable character to the screen who seems like he’s up to no good from the second he walks through the door.
And Jeff Goldblum – who is Jeff Goldblum, basically. The casting is unique, bringing together actors who each have their own style to form a malicious structure. The hotel itself simply provides a backdrop for the often hot-tempered action to take place. But even then it’s not your standard run-of-the-mill hotel..
The Hotel Artemis is situated in a futuristic city which is portrayed nicely. Sparkling towers surround it, with only the slightest touch of alien technology. Usually a city set in the distant – or not so distant – future is buzzing with levitating platforms, flying vehicles or other toys and tools. This one avoids overdoing the science fiction, leaving what surrounds it down to viewer imagination. The subtle environment is perfect, knowing that there is a different world out there as most of the action takes place inside the grotty hotel.
Inside the hotel is a different story though, as dank, low-lit interiors hide sophisticated cyber technology behind the walls. Nurse Jean performs surgery in a secure unit which contains incredible and creative machinery, including a 3D printer which comes in handy in an unfathomable way. So you have a futuristic outside, a normal dull setting inside, and then swish futuristic technology deep inside.. Hotel Artemis mixes up the eras nicely which saves it from becoming a total flop. If it wasn’t for the use of the sophisticated medical machinery and a strict female figure this movie would simply be a handful of bad guys running around playing gangster. Thank god for Foster. Thank god for sci-fi. It’s a perfect mix.
The only downside to this movie is its stale moments. Ultimately you’re watching a bunch of tough guys kicking off within the confines of a plush hotel – and not much more. So Hotel Artemis can become a bit dull at points, saved only by its futuristic setting. This is one to give a go if you fancy a bit of action, but don’t expect the entire 92 minutes to be explosive without a one or two crap scenes. Otherwise, it’s a must for Foster fans.