Written and directed by Drew Pearce
Starring: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day, Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Quinto
A nurse (Foster) runs a secret members-only hotel where wounded criminals can find discreet medical treatment. When the rules of the hotel are broken, all hell breaks loose.This crime thriller was written and directed by Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3). The cast of the film features a nice list of talented actors including Jodie Foster (Panic Room) and Jeff Goldblum (Isle of Dogs). The film also stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther), Sofia Boutella (Star Trek: Beyond), Charlie Day (The Lego Movie), and Zachary Quinto (Star Trek: Into Darkness).Every once in a while a film comes out that leaves people asking “what story were you trying to tell?”. This is one of those moments. The story for this film sets up an excellent premise, rich with opportunities for the wide range of characters. The characters are unique and there is definitely a chance for the story to go in a number of great directions. Unfortunately, that’s where this one stops working. The movie has campy dialogue that not only falls flat, but also telegraphs every move the story is going to make. The writing also fails to identify the main arc, leaving the characters to flail around for 94 minutes with little motivation. Just when it looks like the story has chosen a direction it inexplicably changes course. If this wasn’t enough to hurt the movie, there are a number of other issues. The film fails to identify the true antagonist, and seems indecisive on the true protagonist. The payoffs are also lazy and sometimes non-existent, especially with the initial setup of the premise. All of these issues combine to leave this feeling derivative and dumb.Jodie Foster leads this cast of talented people. From the start she crafts an interesting but incomplete character. She does a solid job playing opposite Dave Bautista throughout much of the movie. He does a nice job with a role that feels like it was written for him. Sterling K. Brown also does decent work with another role that feels like it’s missing something. Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day, and Zachary Quinto all add solid performances of their own. Jeff Goldblum could’ve been one of the stars of this one, but the writing failed him more than any of the other actors. His role feels stripped of any real motivation, and he was unable to bring much out of it. This is really true from the entire cast. The writing didn’t provide enough for anyone to truly shine.This movie attempts to create a futuristic dystopian world for the story to play out in. The sets and costuming do a nice job fitting into that world. The special effects and CGI also help to give this one a futuristic feel. Beyond that there isn’t much to say about the production. The sound, music, and other aspects are neither good or bad. The stunt work is predictable and somewhat disappointing given the way the characters are set up. It should be noted that it’s possible that the failures of the final product came from decisions made in the editing room. The pacing isn’t great, and the movie feels like big chunks are missing.It’s clear that Drew Pearce was trying to capitalize on the popularity of similar movies. Unfortunately he created a film without the commitment to action of John Wick, and missing the clever execution of The Boondock Saints. Staying somewhere in the middle really hurts this one. In every way, this one feels like a series of bad decisions or no decisions.Fans of some of the stars might enjoy small moments, but otherwise there’s not much being offered. The writing sets this one up to fail, and there isn’t enough from the setting or the action to redeem it. I wouldn’t recommend taking the time for this movie. I give this one 1.5 out of 5 stars.