Hotel Artemis (2018)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 6/9/18
Cast: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista, Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Quinto

"Work with what you have, not what you hope for."

A heartbroken doctor (Jodie Foster) ruins her career with heavy drinking and funnels all of her time and energy into running an exclusive hospital for criminals and other underworld people who prefer to remain anonymous. Much like The Continental in "John Wick" (2014), Hotel Artemis is neutral ground and has a very strict set of membership rules. A perfect storm of trouble descends upon the hotel one night during a city-wide riot, and chaos erupts when the rules are broken by multiple parties.

The "John Wick" comparisons are obvious and easy to make, and while the setting is fascinating, the wasted potential is frustrating. It's a slow burn as the characters are defined and the drama plays out, and the film's sole action scene takes place right at the end when Sofia Boutella's assassin character leaps into the fray and takes out a dozen henchmen. She is incredible. She effortlessly steals the show and dominates every scene that she's in. Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, and Dave Bautista give solid and compelling performances, while Charlie Day and Zachary Quinto are content with being loud-mouthed psychotic assholes who hurl endless streams of profanity. That gets old pretty quickly. The film looks great and the cinematography is wonderful, and even though I appreciated all of the character development and interpersonal relationships, it could definitely benefit from more action.