Friday, 17 August 2018

Printer Jam [Review: Hotel Artemis]

Hotel Artemis is a noir-ish crime thriller movie based around a concept - the secret hospital for criminals of the near future, a location - the art-nouveau-d├ęcor hotel that hides the hospital, and a character - the enigmatic Nurse (Jodie Foster). The Nurse runs the hospital, sees to the patients, supervises the surgical robots and enforces the hospital rules with only her one faithful orderly Everest (Dave Bautista) for backup.

The rules of this rather unusual establishment appear on a poster in the hallway. The first rule is "While on the premises, no fighting with or killing other patients" which seems pretty reasonable. Despite the rules there is a healthy amount of bloody violence throughout the film. 

Of course, whenever a movie spells out a set of rules, you can expect that someone is going to try to break them. Imagine how much shorter Gremlins would have been if no-one had fed them after midnight... in any case, this is a hospital that caters exclusively to rule-breakers so it's a little overoptimistic to expect them to play nice.

In terms of zeitgeist Hotel Artemis is right on the money with subplots revolving around 3D-printed organs and other items. This is only the near future so 3D printing is still a flawed technology. There is one scene where a printer jams - you will remember this scene.

I have little to criticise and there are a lot of good things about this movie. The atmospheric setting and Jodie Foster's performance stand out particularly. The plot is slightly confused - instead of a single plot driving the whole film, there are three intertwined subplots involving different cast groups, each with different themes although all revolve around Jeff Goldblum's crime boss in some way. Also the dialogue varies - sometimes genius, sometimes a bit melodramatic. However I enjoyed this film from start to finish and would highly recommend it.

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