CLEVELAND, Ohio – Reference Point: Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt.
Jodie Foster plays the nurse, who runs the Artemis Hotel, a secret and exclusive Los Angeles hospital for super-criminals injured and hunted in 2028. Any connection between the two is a bit of a stretch. It does not matter.
At the start of the film, Waikiki, played by Sterling K. Brown, and his brother Honolulu rob a bank in downtown Los Angeles as the biggest riot the city has ever seen rages outside. A large company has privatized the city’s water supply system and denies access to the city’s poor. Shades of “Chinatown” and Flint, Michigan.
During their jaunt, Honolulu, played by Brian Tyree Henry, was shot repeatedly by police. Waikiki calls her friend Nurse for a room at the Artemis Hotel.
As Nurse prepares for the high-tech surgery that is about to take place, she has to deal with the drama that exists at the hotel. An arms dealer named Acapulco, played by Charlie Day, gets angry that a handsome French assassin, Nice (Sofia Boutella), refuses his overtures of affection.
Nurse, who founded the hotel 20 years earlier, has strict rules of decorum for Artemis. The two main rules are: no fight between patients, and patients are forbidden to kill each other. Nurse’s right-hand man is Everest, played by the gargantuan Dave Bautista (he played Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy”). It provides physical security when things get unruly at the hotel.
Just when it looks like the complications can’t get any crazier (âJust another Wednesday at Artemis,â Nurse snaps), another call arrives. The big daddy of West Coast criminals and founder of the Artemis Hotel, the Wolf King of LA (Jeff Goldblum), has been seriously injured and is heading for treatment with his gang.
“Hotel Artemis” borrows its tone and ambiance from many other detective films. He has a Quentin Tarantino taste for spooky crime characters and horrific, realistic violence. It has the dystopian futuristic feel of the movies “Escape From New York” and “The Road Warrior”.
But the smartest thing writer-director Drew Pearce (“Iron Man 3”) has done is go to the trouble of writing serious stories for these characters and interweaving them quite cleverly. There are some interesting reveals throughout the film that make audiences want to know how things are going to turn out.
Foster is particularly good as a nurse, who is revealed to have had a traditional medical background that deteriorated after the tragic death of her only child. The Artemis Hotel option provided the only way forward for his career.
In the end, however, “Hotel Artemis” is primarily a B-series action thriller, perfect for a summer audience looking to get away from it all. Lower your expectations before checking in and you will have a great stay.
who: With Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry and Dave Bautista. Directed by Drew Pearce.
Duration of operation: 98 minutes.
When: Open on Friday June 8.
Or: Neighborhood theaters.