Earlier this week, I got the chance to see Hotel Artemis. It’s a movie set in a riot-fueled future about a nurse that runs an exclusive hospital for criminals. The film follows the nurse, her orderly, Everest, the hospital’s patients, and a big-time crime boss. And each patient has a different codename pertaining to their hotel room.
Why It Doesn’t Work
First off, the riots or more specifically, the cause behind it, isn’t fully or clearly explained. From what I gathered, the riots revolve around the high price of water. But they don’t tell us why the prices are so high. Nor does it tell us what the people are trying to do about it, other than protest. And it doesn’t seem to be doing any good for them, unfortunately.
Waikiki, played by Sterling K. Brown, gets to go out into the world without being pulled down by his brother. So his options are wide open by the end of the movie. It was a nice ending for him but it would’ve been nicer if Nice (another patient and criminal) got out too. Acapulco quite frankly, is an asshole, but a rich one at that. His ending isn’t as pretty but it’s well deserved, in my opinion. And lastly, there’s Nice, who is a badass, professional killer. She ends up helping Waikiki and the nurse out of the building. But only after beating all the guys left in that big criminal organization. Her fate however is a little fuzzier. We don’t really know what happens to her after she beats up all those guys.
Then there’s the nurse, who is the film’s main protagonist. She also got the best plot throughout the entire film, in my opinion. As she should be because the iconic Jodie Foster plays her. She runs the hospital, along with her orderly, Everest, but Hotel Artemis is really only possible because of Niagara’s money. However, Niagara also happens to be the biggest crime lord in this broken society.
But it turns out the only reason Niagara even found the nurse is because spoiler, he killed her son. But she doesn’t kill him. He still dies, but only because Nice got hired to kill him. Then all hell breaks loose (more than they already have) and Nice’s organization breaks into the building. And it’s led by none other than one of his sons. After that, they take over Hotel Artemis. But Nice and Everest beat them all. Because of that, Waikiki and the nurse are able to escape. And that’s how the story ends.
Overall, there were a lot of things that really didn’t make all that much sense in the film. And you can make the tired excuse that it’s a film and therefore doesn’t need to make sense. But telling stories intelligently with complex characters is what makes a great film. The plot of the riots was, in my opinion, a wasted effort. The ending felt like it was setting up for some kind of sequel. But if it wasn’t, the ending wasn’t really satisfying enough for me.
Then, there’s the problem of all the plot holes and missing gaps in the character’s pasts. This film could’ve really benefitted from a prequel. And that prequel should’ve been this film, in my opinion. That way, we’d know more about the nurse’s son. Then, when we find out how he died, it would’ve been a much better payoff. Plus, we would’ve known more about the cop that used to live next door. Adding him really felt like a last-minute addition, in my opinion. And it didn’t end up being necessary to the rest of the story. Or why Hotel Artemis came to be. Honestly, the only thing I did like about this film was the fight scenes and medical technology. 3D printing vital organs really will become a reality for us someday. So seeing it in this film was nice.