First Hit: Who says Hollywood cannot create a unique and well-acted film.
It’s the future, 2028, and L.A. is caught in a huge riot. However, inside the Hotel Artemis, on the top floor, there is a place of chaotic serenity – a place held together by rules – a place run by The Nurse (Jodie Foster).
Rule 1, you must have a valid membership to enter The Nurse’s establishment. The establishment is a few rooms in the Penthouse at the top of the Hotel Artemis where she fixes up members, mainly criminals, who have been injured.
Helping her is an orderly; Everest (Dave Bautista). I was entranced in his character the moment he points out that as a health professional he has the right to do certain things.
Together they manage the calls that come in for a room or medical assistance. When someone calls, she checks to see if she has a room and if she does, they can be admitted if their membership is valid by scanning their arm next to a scanner in the barred off lobby of the Penthouse floor. If the wound is serious, Everest may be called to help escort the patient to the Penthouse floor.
Each person who’s admitted is called by the name of the room they occupy. In Waikiki is actor Sterling K. Brown who is there because his brother in room Honolulu (Brian Tyree Henry) was shot, bleeding badly, and also happens to have a heroin addiction. Staying in the room Nice, pronounced like the city in France, is an assassin (Sofia Boutella). In Acapulco (Charlie Day) is a healing local thug who thinks he’s above everyone.
The story begins with Waikiki and Honolulu being admitted to Hotel Artemis because Honolulu has been badly wounded. Their running mate Buke was not admitted because his membership has lapsed and the scene where Everest escorts him out of the hotel is excellent.
We watch with fascination as The Nurse goes to work as she fastidiously works her healing magic on patients using a fine marriage of skill and technology. Also we see the intense interactions between Nice, Acapulco and Waikiki in the bar that also set up part of the plot.
We learn that “The Wolf” (Jeff Goldblum) runs L.A. and is the one who set The Nurse up at the top of this hotel for this purpose and to be there when he needs her.
As the story unfolds and The Nurse learns that The Wolf is on his way, all the players have their part in this story of revenge, redemption and freedom.
Foster is sublime in this role. She’s perfect as the fastidious nurse who wants to play by the rules, has a past sadness, and is afraid to go outside of the hotel. Bautista is profoundly excellent as The Nurse’s bodyguard, fixit man, and orderly. I loved his character. Brown is excellent as the guy who’s upended his life for his brother and continues to support him, no matter what. Henry is good as the shot junkie brother. Boutella is outstanding as the assassin. Her intensity and clarity of movement during her scenes were wonderful. Day was great as the kind of person you don’t want to like. His ability to portray arrogance and racist leanings were perfect for his role. Goldblum was wonderful as The Wolf. His supreme attitude towards his stature in L.A. worked perfectly. Drew Pearce wrote and directed this unique story. Kudos for trying something different when all Hollywood can seem to do this throw up retreads of past stories.
Overall: I fully enjoyed this unique story and the excellent acting by all the actors.