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Film / Hotel Artemis

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"All the leaves are brown, and the skies are gray..."

1. While on the premises, no fighting with or killing other patients.
2. No disrespectful words or actions allowed against Hotel Artemis staff.
3. No guns or any type of weapon permitted through the gates.
4. Memberships must be paid for in full and in advance.
5. Prior but lapsed members will not be admitted.
6. No photography or video allowed.
7. No outside food or drink.
8. Absolutely no visitors.
9. If member is found to have compromised or led to compromise of location, membership will be revoked.
10. Hotel Artemis rules are final and non negotiable.
The Rules of the Hotel Artemis

Hotel Artemis is a 2018 movie by first-time director Drew Pearce, starring Jodie Foster, and featuring Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, Charlie Day, Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate and Jeff Goldblum.

In a riot-torn near future Los Angeles, tucked away into a graffiti-covered, rat-infested corner of Downtown is a rundown hotel with a secret - it's an emergency room for those in the know, where discretion is a key virtue of the firm. You see, its customers are primarily criminals. Usually, high-end criminals who have the means to pay for surreptitious medical care.

The Nurse (Jodie Foster) runs the whole show mostly by herself, with only the orderly Everest (Dave Bautista) on hand to help fix things and keep the peace - by any means necessary. With an arms dealer (Charlie Day) with a badly cut face and an attitude problem in the Acapulco Room, a sullen assassin (Sofia Boutella) with a gunshot wound in the Nice Room, and a riot in progress down in the city streets, it seems like just another Wednesday - that is, until a set of bank robbers come in for treatment, unaware they're carrying some very hot property belonging to the vicious crime boss The Wolf King of Los Angeles (Jeff Goldblum). Then more complications set in when the Nurse gets advance warning that the Wolf King is on his way in for treatment, about the same time someone shows up at an entrance begging for help: a cop (Jenny Slate) - who seems to have a connection to the Nurse somehow...

Hotel Artemis provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Waikiki is a repeat customer of the Artemis, and the Nurse remarks that the last time he was in here, he said he had gotten away with One Last Job to set himself up for good, but the Nurse figured this had happened, because his membership to the Hotel was still paid up. Waikiki mentions that he had to go back for the sake of his brother Honolulu needing more money.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The film is set in a cyberpunk near-future vision of Los Angeles, and all the tech is based on real world projections. The Nurse does surgery using nanites for reconstruction work, 3D printed organs, and robot auto-doctors. If anything, it's holding back (see Used Future, below, for explanation). For instance, the organ printer is already in use, just rare.
  • Action Girl: Nice is an excellent example, with one of the highest body counts in the movie.
    Waikiki: I'm a professional, she's the business.
  • Amicable Exes: Nice and Waikiki. They broke up over a major disagreement (heavily implied to be Nice asking Waikiki to ditch Honolulu), but it doesn't seem to have soured things between them at all, with the worst emotion they feel about each other being regret that it didn't work out. She even willingly gives him a chance to shoot her when she realizes she accidentally killed Honolulu. He doesn't, though.
  • Asshole Victim: Given that this is a building full of criminals, it's practically a given.
    • The Wolf King surely earns no pity points from the audience, particularly following The Reveal.
    • Acapulco is such an unswerving inveterate prick. He will not be missed.
    • Crosby, who goes out of his way to break as many rules as possible and be as rude as possible while doing so has burnt any credit he might've had when his time comes.
  • The Alcoholic: The Nurse is a functioning alcoholic who drinks to forget the pain of losing her son.
  • Armor-Piercing Question
    The Nurse: I have one question for you, Orian: did you know my son?
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Technically she's a nurse, but the Nurse fulfills the function of one. The Hotel is essentially a Back Alley Hospital.
  • Batman Gambit: Nice severely wounded the Wolf King, then shot herself in order to check herself into the Hotel so that she could kill him when he eventually came there, because she knew that his security detail would not be allowed into the Hotel, giving her a better chance of actually getting away with it.
  • The Big Guy: Everest is massive and is capable of wresting a full grown man into submission.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted. Of the bank heist crew, there's only one Caucasian, and he's the only one who definitely dies.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: It would appear that Everest and Nice are subject to these, each in their own Last Stand. Subverted: Everest is explicitly shown to survive and is set to continue running the Hotel Artemis, and a blur runs past the camera in the mid-credit scene implying that Nice survived as well.
  • Butt-Monkey: Acapulco. It's not that all of the things that happen to him are specifically meant to target him; he just absorbs a lot of bad luck in a short timespan. Between being humiliated twice trying (clumsily) to come on to Nice, dealing with an uncooperative operator trying to book a chopper out of town, being right next to Nice's sabotage charge going off, his chopper being in sight but leaving without him, and getting his head speared by a 3D printer, practically every scene the man is in shows how it's just not his day.
  • Catchphrase:
    Waikiki: You work with what you've got, not what you've hoped for.
    Nice: I only kill important people.
    Nurse: Just another Wednesday.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Many, many examples.
    • The shard of a broken coffee cup which Nice throws at Acapulco to make a point. She later uses it to kill the Wolf King.
    • The data card Waikiki steals from Acapulco. He uses it to make a gun in a 3-D printer during the climax, then uses it to turn on another 3-D printer while Acapulco's head is trapped inside it, killing him.
    • While treating Honolulu, the Nurse mentions an elephant tranquilizer in her supplies which is fatal if taken in full doses by a human. One of these is used to kill Crosby near the end of the film.
    • When we first met Nice, we saw The Nurse using a medical sealant to seal her bullet wound. The same medical sealant is later used to incapacitate Crosby.
  • Closed Circle: All of Hotel Artemis' occupants are criminals who have some sort of heat that has forced them to hide here while seeking medical attention. It doesn't help that there's a riot and curfew going on outside, making it even more dangerous to leave.
  • Combat Medic: Everest is very proud of the fact that he is a healthcare professional, but he's also a 6'6'' mass of muscle, and he is just as capable of killing dozen of men by himself.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Waikiki and Honolulu inadvertently steal the Wolf King's property and end up at the Hotel Artemis for treatment on the very same day the Wolf King check into it because Waikiki's assassin ex-girlfriend wounded him to lure him there for a close up kill.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: One on-screen, one repeatedly mentioned:
    • The Wolf King has a pretty harsh policy when it comes to people who steal from him: death by drowning in the ocean. Given Honolulu's reaction when realizing he just ripped off the Wolf King, as well as the circumstances surrounding the death of the Nurse's son, it's clear that this policy is universally applied, well known, and feared.
    • On screen, Acapulco is stabbed in the head and then his head is filled with artificial tissue. It's not quick, either, as he's feebly trying to stand and get loose for nearly a minute before he's finally shown slumping for good.
  • Cutting the Knot: Nice can't pick the electronic locks the Artemis has on the room doors, so she blows out the generator, causing the powered doors to unlock.
  • Cyberpunk: A fairly straightforward example.
    • On the cyber side, the Nurse has robot arms that assist with surgery, there are 3D-printed organs, the room doors all use Retraux-style keys that work like key cards on a much smaller scale, membership is checked by way of scanning chips planted under the skin on the wrist, Nice has a cybernetic eye that lets her livestream her kills to her clients and Acapulco is an arms dealer who uses 3D-printed weaponry and sneaks a gun past the scanners by having a card that contains the blueprint for it.
    • On the punk side, utilities like water have been privatized, as have the police, and the backdrop for the film is the ensuing riot over it.
  • Death by Irony: If Acapulco hadn't smuggled in a camouflaged data card with 3D printer specs for a zip gun, he might have lived. Sadly for him, that's the card Waikiki uses to get the printer to start - with Acapulco's head on the print bed.
  • Determined Doctor: She may be surrounded by trigger-happy criminals while a riot rages on outside her hotel, but The Nurse will treat her patients and ask you kindly to please obey the rules of the Artemis or else her orderly will take care of business.
  • Electronic Eyes: Nice has an optic implant, that allows her to essentially live-stream a kill as an additional service to her patrons. She ends up doing exactly that when she kills her target, the Wolf King.
  • Establishing Character Moment: During the bank robbery at the beginning of the film, Honolulu yells and pointlessly threatens a hapless teller who can't get them the money, as the vault locks are controlled by corporate. Waikiki remains calm and uses logic to get them a take from the job without anybody getting shot.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • The Wolf King's son Crosby is utterly devoted to his father. Unfortunately, the sentiment is not returned.
    • Waikiki may be an intelligent career thief, but he loves his older brother Honolulu, even if said brother is a drug addict who has constantly held Waikiki back.
    • Nice is an assassin, but she has very strong affections for Waikiki to the point that she holds off the Wolf King's men while Waikiki and the Nurse make their escape, also as a way to make amends for accidentally causing the death of Honolulu.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Not necessarily evil, given the fact that all the main characters are criminals, but one of the reasons that membership is required is explicitly stated to be because they vet the prospective members to keep out people like pedophiles and serial killers.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Nurse. This is by design, of course, as she's in need of anonymity as much as the patients are. Subverted when the cop shows up at one of the Hotel's doors, calling out to her by her real last name, Ms. Thomas.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire movie takes place over a single night.
  • Eye Scream:
  • Face Death with Dignity: Nice's target offers to double what she's being paid to spare him. She responds that she isn't the type to go back on a deal made in good faith - and since her employer will watch as it happens, she encourages her target not to give her employer the satisfaction of begging to be spared.
    Nice: They paid for your death. Do not give them your dignity for free.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Honolulu, who is impulsive and has a drug problem, is the foolish sibling, while Waikiki, who is much smarter (except when it comes to throwing himself at the wall of trying to save Honolulu from himself), braver, and more-levelheaded is the responsible sibling.
  • Foreshadowing: When the Nurse seals up Nice's bullet wound, she says Nice got lucky because if the bullet had hit even a little deeper, it would have destroyed a whole nerve. Turns out it wasn't luck, but design; Nice shot herself to get in, so of course it's not that bad.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Waikiki verifies his membership at the beginning, a quick shot of the Nurse's tablet reveals his name is Sherman Atkins.
  • Gratuitous French: Nice occasionally uses French in her conversations. Helped by the fact that she's played by a French-Algerian actress.
  • Gentle Giant: Everest gets teased a lot by The Nurse, and is pretty polite guy as long as you obey the Artemis' rules. If you don't, he will gladly and easily beat you up while still remaining polite.
  • Instant Sedation: Everest injects an angry, struggling Buke in the bicep, through his sleeve, and Buke doesn't even get two more words out before he goes limp.
  • Jerkass:
    • Acapulco is a loudmouthed, sexist asshole who thinks he's better than everyone.
    • Crosby is rude and aggressive.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Nice spends the film roaming the hotel and racking up the body count in an elegant red evening dress, a silk neck scarf and a sheepskin jacket. Somewhat justified as she seduced the Wolf King in order to wound him so that he would seek the Artemis.
  • The Load: It's mentioned several times that Waikiki could have been more than just a bank robber if he weren't held back by his brother, Honolulu. Honolulu also stole a pen-safe belonging to the Wolf King of LA who makes sure that anyone that steals from him, knowing or not, pays with their lives. Waikiki even straight-out says that he's built his life around looking after Honolulu, even though he wanted to do other things, and that he's fully aware staying in the Artemis when the Wolf King arrives is stupid, but he's going to do it anyway because Honolulu won't leave.
  • Location Theme Naming:
    • As part of the hotel's promise of discretion, all the patients are given codenames after the room they're staying in: Acapulco, Nice, Honolulu, and Niagara. Honolulu's brother is dubbed Waikiki, and the Nurse's right hand orderly is called Everest.
    • Oddly, Nice's employer is referred to only as "Detroit," fitting the theme, even though he's never seen or heard from directly.
  • Make an Example of Them: If the Wolf King catches anyone who's stolen from him, even if it was unintentional, the transgressor will end up dead. Naturally, Waikiki is not happy to learn that his brother stole a pen-sized jewel vault with the Wolf King's sigil on it. It turns out that the Nurse's son died not from an overdose, but because he stole a car belonging to the Wolf King.
  • Mean Boss: During the opening bank robbery, Waikiki notes how many domestic servants are there, and asks how many of them work for millionaires. When over a dozen of them stand up, he says to stay standing "if your boss is an asshole" and only one man sits down. A search of their bags quickly shows that said rich, "asshole" bosses had sent all of their lootable valuables to the bank to keep safe from the riot, but been too cowardly to take to the streets themselves, and so sent the servants.
  • Meaningful Name: Nice is not pronounced 'nice,' and is not nice. Everest, as well, is played by 6'6", almost-as-wide-as-he-is-tall, Dave Bautista, a former professional wrestler for WWE. Everest's is lampshaded by the Nurse.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers completely mischaracterize the plot of the movie, as they imply that the Wolf King is the main villain attacking the hotel to retrieve his property and forcing the other guests and staff to band together to fight him. As a matter of fact, the Wolf King comes to the hotel as a patient, fully complies with the rules, and has no idea the brothers are there.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Nice blows the power to get at the Wolf King, she also kills the power to the life support that was keeping Honolulu alive.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The last we see of the fighting in the Artemis, Everest and Nice are seemingly being overwhelmed by the mobsters... then in the last scene, Everest is shown switching the lights back on while covered in blood, revealing he at least beat them all.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nice's reaction when Waikiki shows her what his brother stole from The Wolf King. Also Nice's reaction when she is told at gun point she inadvertently killed Honolulu.
  • Old Flame: Nice and Waikiki are revealed to be one of these. It's implied that they split due to Waikiki's insistence of looking after his brother, but they still respect and care for each other.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: In the LA of 2028, public utilities like water and law enforcement, at least, have been privatized. Acapulco's comments suggest it's like this everywhere.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nearly all the characters, and is how the Hotel operates.
    • Patients are named after their rooms (Nice, Honolulu, Acapulco, Niagara).
    • The dreaded mobster Orian Franklin is only referred to as The Wolf King of LA.
    • Everest nicknames Crosby "Slow Code".
    • Buke, the surviving member of the bank heist crew, is quickly given the nickname "neckhole" by the Nurse.
    • In fact, only one character is not referred to by a nickname: Crosby. Presumably because there's nothing noteworthy enough about him to earn him one. The closest he gets is a dismissive "Captain Try-Hard," and that was from his father.
  • Passing the Torch: At the end of the movie, Nurse explicitly leaves the keys and thus the Hotel to Everest as she heads off into the riots to do what good she can.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Nice says, "Don't cross my line." to the Wolf King's henchmen.
  • Professional Killer: Who Nice is. And she only kills important people.
  • Red Herring: Two.
    • The diamonds the brothers steal from the Wolf King. The Wolf King didn't come to the hotel looking for them, never found out the brothers were at the hotel and given the likely time he was shot, may not even have known about the theft in the first place.
    • Morgan. It initially seems as though the Nurse will have to choose between helping Morgan (not a member, also a cop, but someone she has a connection to) and treating the Wolf King, but she gets Morgan patched up in time. Morgan's actual narrative function is to force the Nurse to confront her Dark and Troubled Past by being a living reminder of it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Nurse and Waikiki leave the hotel through the only door no one actually uses or would even expect to use any more. The front.
  • The Reveal: And man, is it a corker. That the entire plot not just of the movie but the events leading up to it - all of them - stem from the Wolf King killing a car thief. Where the Nurse thought her son had OD'd, sending her into a spiral of depression and alcoholism that resulted in her license being lifted, then being recruited by the Wolf King to run the Artemis, turns out that it wasn't an OD: her son was killed by the Wolf King as part of a policy of making examples of thieves.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Acapulco decides that hiding out in the Artemis isn't safe enough from the riot consuming LA, so calls in a helicopter to fly him down to Mexico. An explosion Nice sets off as part of her assassination plot scares the chopper off, stranding him.
  • Secret Path: Nurse's service elevator and passageway gets a lot of use for a standard example of this trope.
  • The Shut-In: The Nurse lives in a room of the Hotel, and cannot go outside. Doing so causes her to get powerful anxiety attacks. They're caused by the guilt of losing her son to an overdose. Later in the film, she discovers her son was killed by the Wolf King for stealing one of his cars. The Wolf King's subsequent death causes her to be able to face her loss, and she becomes able to leave the Hotel.
  • Sick and Wrong: Waikiki's reaction when Nice tells him her optic implant allows her clients to watch her kills, plus an extra detail. Later brings it up to her client in order to get a raise.
    Nice: Tonight, I had to look my target in the eye while I slit his throat, so the client can watch it later, while he masturbates.
    Waikiki: That's fucking gross.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Acapulco thinks everyone around him are small fries compared to him but is quickly shown to be in over his head.
  • Speculative Science: All of the technology on display is based on real world predecessors. The most unrealistic — a drug with a Truth Serum side-effect — is implied to lower the victim's inhibitions and leave him open to suggestion, rather than a true truth serum.
  • Spotting the Thread: Even though the Nurse and Everest give Morgan civilian clothes to replace her uniform, they don't give her new shoes. Waikiki notices immediately that she's wearing cop boots and tells Everest he better be careful.
  • Token White: Of the four bank robbers in the beginning one is white.
  • Truce Zone: By necessity, the rules of the Hotel ban any guns entering the premises, and forbid attacks on other patients. Naturally, both of these things end up happening during the course of the film.
  • Undying Loyalty: Everest is loyal to the Nurse, even in the face of the family that owns the hotel.
  • Used Future: Despite there being (compared to today) some pretty impressive technology available like free-floating holograms, holo-phones, flexible screen displays, and 3D printers that crank out replacement organs, most everything in the Hotel has the look of equipment that's been through a war, clumsily stolen, and used very hard without much time for maintenance.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: This appears to describe Crosby's relationship with the Wolf King.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Nice is last seen beat up but standing against a group of goons. A mid credits sequence shows a shadow running past the camera in the hotel implying she survived.
    • We also don't see what happened to Buke (the other survivor from Waikiki's heist) and Morgan (the cop) after they left the Artemis.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: During the climax, Everest and Nice hold off the Wolf King's men so that the Nurse and Waikiki can escape.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Briefly teased but subverted. Crosby is explicitly said to be the youngest of the Wolf King's sons, and receives little respect despite his loyalty. During the climax, Waikiki offers him the pen vault, which will give him a huge financial advantage over his siblings, with Crosby taking it, but then trying to kill The Nurse anyway, screwing it up for himself, as Waikiki immediately calls off the deal and attacks him.