film re­view

NOW Magazine - - MOVIES -

ho­Tel ArTemis (Drew Pearce) is the sort of movie you should go see be­fore your friends spoil all the best parts. In his fea­ture di­rec­to­rial de­but, screen­writer Pearce – who cowrote Iron Man 3 and Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble – Rogue Na­tion – does what all the best pulp film­mak­ers do: he es­tab­lishes a world, in­tro­duces some char­ac­ters, de­fines their con­flicts and im­me­di­ately com­pli­cates the hell out of ev­ery­thing. The set­ting is a near-fu­ture Los Angeles dur­ing a chaotic riot, where an as­sort­ment of anony­mous, wounded peo­ple ar­rive at the epony­mous lo­ca­tion – a se­cret hos­pi­tal for crim­i­nals who can af­ford mem­ber­ship – and al­most im­me­di­ately find them­selves at each other’s throats. It’s Reser­voir Dogs meets John Wick dur­ing the Purge, with a dream cast of pros in­clud­ing Jodie Foster, Ster­ling K. Brown, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Char­lie Day and Zachary Quinto and a cou­ple of peo­ple I am re­luc­tant to name, in case you haven’t seen the trailer. Pearce makes the most of a mod­est bud­get, lim­it­ing the ac­tion to a hand­ful of lo­ca­tions but mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing plays out in the most in­ter­est­ing man­ner pos­si­ble, with a run­ning mo­tif that pairs char­ac­ters up in iso­la­tion but keeps shift­ing the pair­ings, so Foster gets a quiet mo­ment with al­most every­one and Brown and Boutella can build an in­trigu­ing love/hate thing be­tween big fights. And the big fights, when they come, are sim­i­larly well ex­e­cuted; a hall­way stand­off late in the pic­ture is one of the most sat­is­fy­ing things I’ve seen this year. 108 min. nnnn (Norman Wilner)

Dave Bautista and Jodie Foster check in to Ho­tel Artemis.

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