Drew Pearce only had two major credits under his belt prior to directing Hotel Artemis. He wrote Iron Man 3 and is credit with the story for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. He did direct one of the Marvel One-Shots in All Hail the King, the short that had the real Mandarin abduct Trevor — the man who pretended to be the Marvel villain in Iron Man 3.
With that said, Pearce impressed somebody because he got a chance to make his directorial debut with some huge names in his movie.
What resulted was a polarizing movie that thrilled some and disappointed others — almost at a 50/50 rate according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Hotel Artemis takes place in 2028 and the world is in a state of turmoil. A company in Los Angeles that controls the water has angered the public so much that rioting has started in the streets, as the people try to get to the building of the company’s offices.
That is just background and has little to do with the actual story.
In 2028, there is a place called Hotel Artemis, which is almost a mythological location where criminals who buy insurance can go when injured to get nursed back to health. The head doctor is The Nurse (Jodie Foster) and her top assistant is a mountain of a man named Everest (Dave Bautista).
The occupants of the hotel on the evening the movie takes place are two brothers from a botched robbery attempt named Sherman and Lev, brothers. Lev was shot and Sherman takes him to the hotel to get patched up.
When they arrive, they find a hitwoman named Nice (Sofia Boutella) and an arms dealer only known as Acapulco (Charlie Day) already there. There is also only one bed left for the night, and when they hear that a mob boss named The Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum) needs medical assistance, they have to hold it for him since he is the man who financed Hotel Artemis.
The problem is that a young female police officer named Morgan shows up needing help right before The Wolf King gets there and the King’s son Crosby (Zachary Quinto) is as close as you can get to being a sociopath and wants his father cared for immediately.
So, this is the setup. What happens after this is that secrets are revealed, betrayals take place, and when one character makes a move that can’t be reversed, everyone on one side of the gate (the medical staff and injured criminals) find themselves in a fight for their lives against Crosby and his men.
The movie is mostly a rash of futuristic violence in a world that has a lot of fun gadgets and toys for Pearce to play with as he directs an incredible cast from one battle to the next.
There is little under the hood and the revelations are never as deep as Pearce hopes them to be. However, the cast all seem game and do their part to make the entire ride a fun one, letting the time fly by and leaving audiences who came for the violence leave satisfied.