Plot: In the midst of violence and riots in Los Angeles is the Hotel Artemis, an exclusive, members only establishment that can work near miracles for its clients. The Nurse (Jodie Foster) runs the hotel, which caters to affluent, troubled souls who engage in violent acts and need to be mended, often at the brink of death. But this nurse can soothe even the most savage wounds and while she can’t bring back the dead, she do almost anything else in the medical field. Her clients are known by their room names, to keep real names hidden and one of the latest arrivals is Waikiki (Sterling K. Brown), a bank robber fresh off a heist with his brother, who is near dead. While the the hotel, Waikiki visits with other clients and soon learns the valuable artifact he has stolen belongs to the Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum), the most powerful crime lord in Los Angeles. As if that’s not enough, the Wolf King and his crew are en route to the Hotel Artemis, while the nurse is deep into a most unexpected situation…

Entertainment Value: The premise here is a fun one, a hospital that caters to high end criminals and boasts bleeding edge medical tech, populated with colorful characters and stylish visuals. I don’t think Hotel Artemis makes the best of that concept, but it does have some fun moments, a slick, but dank visual presence, and a cast that boasts some impressive talent. Jeff Goldblum as an eccentric crime boss is reason enough to watch this one, even with the various issues involved. The main concern is that it seems like the film failed to explore some of the more interesting ideas and go with a more typical narrative, but there’s still a lot to like here. I love the visual design, high end tech but grunge soaked and the cinematography is on point, making sure the visuals have a polished, engaging presence. And while the story is a little weak, the characters more than balance that out, with interesting and dynamic hotel residents that interact in all kinds of fun ways. The pace is good and the film never drags, while the blend of action and suspense/thriller elements is a potent cocktail. I think there’s a lot more than could have been done here, but I also think Hotel Artemis is a stylish, violent thriller that provides solid entertainment.

The cast is also a big reason the movie works as well as it does, with a great ensemble stacked with talent. As she doesn’t take a lot of roles, Jodie Foster is always a welcome cast addition and she brings good presence to the lead role here. The script doesn’t give her immense depth to work with, but she elevates the material and also seems to bring out the best in her costars. So she was a real coup for Hotel Artemis and the movie is much better with her involved. While her performance is serious and sincere, Jeff Goldblum brings a wild, eccentric presence to his role as the Wolf King, though I wish he had more screen time. But he makes the most of his scenes and is quite memorable here, so his fans won’t want to miss this one. Sofia Boutella and Sterling K. Brown also turn in terrific performances, though I do think Charlie Day is a rather weak link, as he struggles with the character he was given. The cast also includes Zachary Quinto, Evan Jones, and Dave Bautisa, and Jenny Slate.

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