Hotel Artemis (2018): ‘The Problems of Great Worldbuilding’ – A Film Review



Amongst some of the original films out there and bringing Jodie Foster back to the silver screen for the first time since 2013, Hotel Artemis is actually writer Drew Pearce’s directorial debut. Drew Pearce’s writing credits include Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Hotel Artemis also stars actors like Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: Secret Service). One could be forgiven in expecting this to be an action led film. Certainly, this little Crime Thriller isn’t forgetting action at all. Although we may be seeing the rise of many super hero films and interconnecting franchises, there are actually quite a few original films arising too and some from first time directors such as with Hotel Artemis – including Hereditary, Den of Thieves and Lady Bird. There is life in cinema yet it seems.


The Cast

Instantly, we should take note of the cast and their performances. Quickly characters are memorable and well defined in a way that can be quite heart-warming and quickly. Especially this goes to the central cast Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella as well as Sterling K. Brown and Charlie Day. Unfortunately, Jeff Goldblum is his own worst enemy and will always be himself in his own way, which can be distracting. Zachary Quinto has a completely different problem, as the script doesn’t really give him much time to shine. Which leads to another problem with the film: as much as Hotel Artemis is absolutely amazing at world building and at offering compelling characters, it doesn’t know how to finish this. The ending feels rushed and un-ended, as if large parts were edited out.


The Worldbuilding

Focusing on the world building for a moment, the film is vibrant and alive. There is a real sense of the outside and the inside in a reality that is interesting. Whilst the location has character and is well depicted and well shot. Hotel Artemis, actually like Oldboy, has a great sense of character and colour to it. This really helps this sense of worldbuilding as it feels like there’s a certain amount of depth. What is shown is just as intriguing as what isn’t shown but is referred to. Whilst the complexity of the visuals helps guides you through everything that happens.



Hotel Artemis has a dedication and heart to it and with the talent to pull it off. It just doesn’t know how to go any further than what’s established. This is major drawback that affects the whole as if the perfection from afar had a gaping hole in it up close. Hotel Artemis would have seriously benefited from a longer running time; to both bask in its amazing worldbuilding and allow the suspense that was built up to have a better pay off by allowing the final events to be more developed. A real shame as Hotel Artemis has the promise of imagination that would likely draw audiences back.



Following an armed robbery, a criminal and his brother head to a hideout, that requires membership and is well funded, in order to be treated for their injuries. Here they find their hosts on one of their busiest nights with others also seeking refuge and some with increasing notoriety.




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A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

Den of Thieves (d. Christian Gudegast USA 2018)

Guardians of the Galaxy (d. James Gunn USA 2014)

Hereditary (d. Ari Aster USA 2018)

Hotel Artemis (d. Drew Pearce USA 2018)

Iron Man 3 (d. Shane Black USA/China 2013)

Kingsman: Secret Service (d. Matthew Vaughn UK/USA 2014)

Lady Bird (d. Greta Gerwig USA 2017

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (d. China/Hong Kong/USA 2015)

Oldboy / oldeuboi (d. Park Chan-Wook South Korea 2003)


Further Reading

Official Site

Interview with Drew Pearce

Interview with Cast & Director

Interview with Jodie Foster

Interview with Drew Pearce on Sequels

Behind the Scenes

On Set with Jodie Foster


If you liked this

Murder on the Orient Express (2017): ‘Performing a Book’ – A Film Review

Den of Thieves (2018): ‘Emotion and Plot’ – A Film Review

Hereditary (2018): ‘Burn the Witch’ – A Film Review

Lady Bird (2017): ‘One in Many’ – A Film Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – A Film Review

Iron Man 3 (2013) – A Film Review


This was an analytical review of….


Hotel Artemis (d. Drew Pearce USA 2018)


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