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Hotel Artemis' - too busy to function

Published:Friday | July 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster as The Nurse (right) and Dave Bautista (left) in a scene from Hotel Artemis.

How many times have you watched a movie, all the way to the end, and it was an ending you could've easily predicted?

This isn't all bad though. Just like the rhythm of a song plays on our recognition of patterns, so too does the script of a film. Still, it's always truly special when a film is able to take for granted an audience's knowledge and use it to help tell a better story.

Hotel Artemis has glimpses of that, but it never quite achieves its utmost potential. It's the story of a hospital for criminals run by a stern old woman referred to as The Nurse, played by Jodie Foster. If you're a bank robber, assassin, or drug dealer, and you're injured and need somewhere to go, she'll patch you up. As long as you respect the rules.

Those criminals make up the rest of this incredible cast. Sterling K. Brown plays a bank robber who doesn't seem to like being a bank robber. Sofia Boutella, a high-profile assassin, and Charlie Day, an arms dealer. If that wasn't enough, Jeff Goldblum has a turn as a quiet yet ruthless mob boss known as 'The Wolf King of LA'. It's not just about the acting, it's about the action, too. Hotel Artemis is mostly a quiet film, but it thoroughly entertains when it's time to ratchet up the mayhem.

Their characters are interesting on paper, but because there are so many of them, they never really amount to much. There's something there, but there's never enough time to get into it. Hotel Artemis feels like it would've been better off as a television series.

More than once, the woman who runs a hospital for criminals proclaims, "It's a busy night at the Artemis". That's a shame, because it's a place I'd very much like to visit at a quieter time. With so many characters, each with their own plot, the film is needlessly convoluted. It muddles its narrative and causes its greatest strengths to buckle under the weight of the plot.

Rating: High, catch it on cable