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Hotel Artemis


Stars: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista

Director: Drew Pearce

Foster returns to movies after five years, covered in makeup and made-for-the-screen wrinkles that make her look older than she is, to play the hard-assed Nurse who runs the eponymous hotel Artemis - now a hospital for hoods - in a near future Los Angeles which is being torn apart by violent riots.

I have to admit I couldn't figure out what attracted a good actress like Foster ('This is America. Eighty five per cent of what I fix is bullet holes') to screenwriter Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3, Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation) who, making his directorial debut here, delivers a crime-and-brutality spree whose natural home is a late night on a free-to-air TV horror channel.

The hotel patients - gangsters - are considerably better treated than the audience. After half an hour or so I would happily have settled for full anaesthesia rather than watch Pearce's increasingly desperate attempts to give some semblance of credibility to an increasingly foul-mouthed and bloody show that was calling out desperately for the end credits to turn up.

Goldblum (last seen enjoying himself in a cameo role in the latest Jurassic World money spinner) plays a Los Angeles master villain with an impressive straight face, in the face of much of his dialogue; other purveyors of evil include Quinto (Goldblum's on-screen son) and his legion of thugs, 'nurse' (given his role and his over-the-top acting, I use the term without really meaning it) Bautista and embarrassing assassin Boutella).

Praise is due to the two editors (Gardner Gould and Paul Zucker) for their valiant efforts to impose some sort of narrative sense onto Pearce's 'eat-your-heart-out-Tarantino-style insistence on blood and violence rather than a coherent story.

Wait for the DVD and activate the fast-forward button - fast.

Alan Frank

USA/UK 2018. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 22 Jul 2018