John David Washington in BlacKkKlansman (2018)Spike Lee’s latest masterpiece “BlacKkKlansman” is the true story of how Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer in Colorado, infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan. Posing as a white supremacist over the phone using his “white voice”, he convinced David Duke and other Klan members that he wanted to join them in the mission to keep whites separate from blacks. When meeting in person, Ron sends Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), a white office, to meet with the KKK, pretending to be Ron Stallworth. As he seemingly becomes a part of the Klan, they are able to infiltrate them and dig their way deeper into “the organization”.

“BlacKkKlansman” is full of fantastic performances all around form both the lead cast and the supporting. Ron Stallworth is played superbly by John David Washington in the performance of his career and Adam Driver excellently plays Flip Zimmerman. While Driver has had multiple great performances throughout his career, this is one of his bests, up there with his roles in Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” and Martin Scorsese’s “Silence”.

Surprisingly, “BlacKkKlansman” is full of humor and almost works as a comedy on its own. The film takes many hilarious stabs at the KKK and their lack of intelligence, showcasing the stupidity of hatred and racism. While its humorous, it’s definitely more of a dark comedy. At the same time, the events and people portrayed in the film are all real, so Spike Lee’s masterpiece reminds viewers that hatred exists and will likely continue to exist.

Spike Lee’s film is an important one to venture out to the theaters for, especially in today’s political climate. The film makes multiple comparisons to today, showing us how little things have changed. It isn’t the kind of movie to watch if you’re in the mood for a light hearted comedy. While there is plenty of humor, it’s still a heavy film to watch, whether you’re aware of the horrors of racism or not. Spike Lee’s film will likely open the eyes for many to the fact that, despite wishes, not all are created equal.

Some award recognition will surely come to this one and rightfully so. Not only is the film socially and politically vital, it’s also an achievement on a filmmaking standard. The acting, writing, music, costume design etc. are all very well done, making for a film that will likely be remembered for years to come.

Rated R for language throughout, including racial epithets, and for disturbing/violent material and some sexual references 

Crazy Rich Asians

Constance Wu and Henry Golding in Crazy Rich Asians (2018)In “Crazy Rich Asians”, Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, a young woman who has fallen in love with the famous Nick Young (Henry Golding). Young’s family in Singapore is, as the title suggests, rich beyond belief. Nick and Rachel travel to Singapore for a family wedding where Rachel, unaware of the wealth she is getting into, meets Nick’s entire family, some of which aren’t too welcoming of her presence. Many members of Nick’s family see Rachel as a gold digger, and it’s up to her to gain the respect of Nick’s intimidating and disapproving mother, Eleanor Young, played by Michelle Yeoh.

“Crazy Rich Asians” has a promising ensemble cast and many of the performers in this film are new, although there are some familiar faces, such as Ken Jeong (“The Hangover”) and Ronny Chieng (“The Daily Show”). The lead cast however, consists mostly of new actors and promising ones as that. The abundance of characters is impressive, but the screenplay still seems to be disengaging. The film has a lot going for it, and it starts to show its hidden talents towards the end. The first half of the film however, seems to go nowhere and has no purpose but to show rich people being ritzy and stuck up. There is little plot or character development for quite some time. The interesting part of the story doesn’t really kick in for a while, and when it does, it’s still not as unique or original as hoped.

From start to finish, “Crazy Rich Asians” is full of romcom stereotypes including, men with their shirts off, a disapproving parent, multiple proposals, cheesy humor, and romance on an airplane. The film may be enjoyable for some, but for those sick of the same romcom themes occurring over and over, “Crazy Rich Asians” isn’t going to be much help. Its got plenty of heart and humor for sure but isn’t as emotionally engaging as other similar films are, such as “Love, Actually” or “When Harry Met Sally”. It’s missing the flare that makes certain romcoms so loveable.

Plenty of the humor in “Crazy Rich Asians” falls flat as there are plenty of eyerolling jokes and gags that seem ridiculously out of place. There are funny moments here and there, but from a comedy standpoint “Crazy Rich Asians” doesn’t fulfill the need. The humor is one of the main reasons why moviegoers venture out to the theaters for the romcom genre and its absence in this film is a bigger hole than expected.

This new romcom has its moments and there some elements of the movie that can be very enjoyable. The only issue is that it doesn’t seem to stay that way. The inconsistencies make the film much less enjoyable than it could have been, which makes for an average and second-rate film. There are meaningful moments spread throughout the film about how money can distort the idea of what relationships should be like. Unfortunately, that message is overtaken by romcom stereotypes and disappointing humor.

That isn’t to say that “Crazy Rich Asians” isn’t an achievement as it’s the first film to star an entirely Asian cast. Its representation of Asian actors and actresses is extremely pivotal for the progression of diversity in film. Films like this open up more opportunities for certain races that have not been properly represented through film. There is still a long way to go for more diversity, but “Crazy Rich Asians” is an enormous step in the right direction.

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language

The Meg

Jason Statham in The Meg (2018)It’s only tradition that every summer there needs to be the release of a ridiculous shark movie. Ever since Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece “Jaws”, production companies beg filmmakers to make action thrillers starring a shark as the main villain. They’re huge moneymakers, but sometimes their quality isn’t all that its built up to be. In recent years we got shark movies like “47 Meters Down” and “Sharknado”. They’re fun without a doubt, but how long will it take for the giant shark genre to hit rock bottom?

This summer, we received “The Meg” a movie about, as you can guess, a giant shark. Only this time, it’s bigger. The scientific name of the species of shark is Megaladon, a shark that can swallow many people at once in the single bite. When a team of scientists decide to dig deeper into the ocean, they open up a path for the prehistoric Megaladons to venture up, closer to human life. Now, it’s up to that team of scientists to fight the sharks as best they can. Although, it’s really only Jason Statham’s character who does anything noteworthy.

Statham plays Jonas Taylor, who once escaped the seventy-foot shark. He swore he would never return to the ocean, that is until he discovers that his ex-wife is trapped in the depths of the ocean being threatened by the presence of the Meg. That’s how Jonas gets into all the rest of the toothy business that continues from there. “The Meg” has a simple plot, but if you want some shark action and desire to see Jason Statham being Jason Statham, then this movie is for you.

What may drive more viewers to the theaters for this one, is Rainn Wilson, the star of the hit sitcom “The Office”. Be aware though, he isn’t at all like Dwight in “The Meg”. Wilson’s character goes through a bizarre turn that doesn’t seem to fit well with the rest of the movie, so if you’re seeing the movie for him, you may want to reconsider.

The shark action is plentiful but lacks some of the elements that make these types of films more enjoyable. Due to the poorly written screenplay, it’s difficult to care about any of the characters. The film also attempts to throw in a bizarre love triangle in the mix and it feels just as awkward as the movie’s premise. With more intriguing characters and better performances, “The Meg” would have stood a chance as one of the better shark films. Unfortunately, we got another average one, but one that still manages to entertain.

“The Meg” has plenty for audiences to laugh at, mostly its ridiculous shark sequences. Each action sequence gets more ridiculous than the last, that by the time the movie is almost towards the end of its runtime, you’ll be laughing at the movie whether you’re having a good time or not.  Ultimately though, “The Meg” lacks what makes films like “Jaws” so great. The film needs more layered characters, a much more intriguing story, and even more chomp.

Rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images and some language

Eighth Grade

Comedian and now writer/director Bo Burnham has created one of the most realistic and relatable films of the year so far. His directorial debut “Eighth Grade” is an outstanding achievement, ranking it up with the levels of Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight” and Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird”. Elsie Fisher stars as Kayla, a shy Eighth grader who desires to make friends and survive the rest of her final year in middle school before moving on to high school. Through this, she learns the importance of being yourself, and more importantly about the process of growing up. Things can seem hopeless at that age, but once you get to know people and put yourself out there, its not as bad as it seems.

The film is beautiful in its own quirky little way. Its level of realism takes audiences right into Kayla’s life, and makes us empathetic through her character. She of course, goes through many ups and downs, just as any eighth grader does. Kayla experiences loads of anxiety and sadness, while also being an incredibly positive and lovable person. She gets nervous at pool parties, likes the stereotypical “bad boy” but cant seem to talk to him, and is constantly embarrassed by her father’s love for her. What kind of eighth grader doesn’t go through that type of stuff?

Elsie Fisher (fun fact: the voice of the youngest girl in “Despicable Me”) gives a relatable performance as Kayla, which will surely put her on the map for more indie films like this one. She conveys her character very well and delivers one of the finest young performances in recent years. Her performance is right up there with young performances like Jacob Trembly in “Room”, Milly Shapiro in “Hereditary” and Brooklyn Prince in “The Florida Project”.

Burnham’s debut is undoubtably funny and heartfelt from start to finish, with plenty of emotion and heartbreak thrown in the mix. Its screenplay is superbly well written by Bo Burnham, making for an excellent story, in addition to being an observational film that relies on realism more than plot. “Eighth Grade” is easily comparable to films like “Lady Bird” and “Moonlight”, both of which are coming of age stories produced by A24. The quality of Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” is right up there with those recent masterpieces.

“Eighth Grade” is one of the most well-constructed movies of the year so far, with its impeccable direction and whimsical score. The performances have some clear talent behind them, and the finely directed central performance is enough of a reason to give the film some award recognition.

This sweet little coming of age story has a lot to it, but what’s most important to know is that it’ll give you all the feels. Just as Elsie experiences the ups and downs of eighth grade, so do we. The entire film is quite touching, and it will definitely make you smile.

Rated R for language and some sexual material

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Ving Rhames, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg in Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)“Mission Impossible – Fallout” is one of the biggest surprises of the year. In this sixth addition to the series, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team must infiltrate the Apostles, an organization that plans on acquiring plutonium. The organization is being led by John Lark, Hunt’s main target. Matters are severely complicated when CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) joins Ethan Hunt. It’s a relatively simple plot, but one that does not cease to entertain.

“Fallout” is one of the more thrilling films in the series. It’s filled with constant action that refuses to lets audiences’ eyes leave the screen. There are about seven or eight long action sequences throughout the film that stand out. There’s not much else to say about the action other than the fact that it’s completely kick-ass and nonstop, making “Mission Impossible – Fallout” one of the best action movies since 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road”. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Tom Cruise-centered action films tend to be pretty “just ok”, but this is so far the best Tom Cruise thriller we’ve seen in quite come time.

What possibly made the action so great, was the fact that Cruise performed many of his own stunts, most notably the helicopter scene. While Tom Cruise performances can be hit or miss, his devotion to his character in this film in very notable. Cruise is very enjoyable in “Fallout” and is of his best action performances to date. His talents are very ranged as well as in the nineties, he gave us some stellar dramatic performances in “Rain Man”, “Magnolia”, and “Eyes Wide Shut”, while still giving Cruise fans what they want in movies like “Top Gun”. Now, he doesn’t perform in as many dramatic roles, but as long as he’s jumping from buildings, running from explosions, or hanging out of helicopters, then we’re happy.

Many characters have returned for this film from previous “Mission Impossible” movies. This includes Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg), Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), and Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). “Fallout” continues just a few years after the events of the previous installment “Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation”, so many of the characters are reprising their roles from that film. The characters are quite well-written in this installment, but this wouldn’t come as a surprise to those who saw the previous film. If you’re new to the franchise, its important to know that in addition to getting loads of thrilling action, the characters are also one reason to watch the film. Benji and Luther in particular have many great lines and are definitely the comic relief of the movie.

From the trailer, “Mission Impossible – Fallout” looks as though it may be similar to its predecessors. In a way it is, but in another way, it stands out as one of the most action-packed movies in recent years and is definitely the most thrilling film of 2018 so far, and yes, that’s including “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther”.

Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language

Sorry to Bother You

Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You (2018)In this bizarrely entertaining indie film, an African American telemarketer finds they key to success through using a “white voice” to make sales, propelling him into higher job responsibilities and towards being a “power caller”. The power callers work upstairs and only the most talented make their way up there, but when Cassius makes his way to stardom, his life takes a dramatic turn that affects both him and the lives around him. The plot takes many unexpected turns from there and the film transforms into a bizarre acid trip that both intrigues and confuses. “Sorry to Bother You” is much more than it seems and once you witness the film for yourself, it’ll be evident why this is the most unique film of the year so far.

Lakeith Stanfield plays Cassius, the insecure telemarketer who eventually finds himself on top of the telemarketing agency. Many know the actor from his small performance in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”, the most successful horror movie of last year. After starring in the Oscar-winning film, Stanfield now has the ability to breakout through different roles, and his role in “Sorry to Bother You” will put him on the map for years to come.

The film also stars Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”, “Annihilation”) as Detroit, Cassius’s girlfriend. Thompson gives a great performance as well, one that also stands out from her pervious roles. The remaining cast of “Sorry to Bother You” also consists of Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, Kate Berland, Steve Yeun, Michael X. Sommers, and Armie Hammer. The two “white voices” are conveyed by Patton Oswalt and David Cross.

“Sorry to Bother You” is writer/director Boots Riley’s first feature film. He is previously known for his rapping talents and now it looks like the rapper has a clear talent for direction. It’s easy to tell that it’s his first film with its questionable editing decisions, but it’s nevertheless a film with plenty of talent behind it.

Riley’s movie is a combination of multiple genres, mixing comedy, drama, romance, fantasy and science-fiction all into one nightmarish social-commentary. Like “Get Out” this film mixes humor with messages about the real world. Only this time, “Sorry to Both You” focuses much more on capitalism than race. However, the humor is at its peak throughout most of the movie through its dialogue, situations and its absurdly weird plot points. Towards the last third of the film, “Sorry to Bother You” turns into a completely different type of movie but seemed to get there with ease. Strangely, the theme shift works perfectly without ruining the rest of the film.

The film gets more and more dreamlike as the film continues, making audiences wonder if what they’re watching is actually happening or not. Scene by scene, the movie builds up its strange personality, until the end where it all comes crashing together. It works well on an entertainment level with its comedy and outlandish plot, while acting as a bit of a thinker as well. “Sorry to Bother You” definitely isn’t a film for everyone but for those who watch it, it will be an experience at the very least.

Rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro in Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)After the drug cartels on the U.S-Mexico border begin trafficking terrorists, the CIA gives agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) the permission to use extreme measures to infiltrate those trafficking terrorist bombers. After receiving permission to kidnap the daughter of a cartel leader, Graves then teams up with Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), who has a vendetta to settle with the cartels. All of this occurs while a young teenager becomes involved in the trafficking process, which leads to connecting timelines and unfortunate circumstances.

Benicio Del Toro is the notable actor here, as he gives a layered performance as the struggling assassin who attempts to keep the kidnaped girl safe by getting her across the border into the United States. Josh Brolin gives a great performance as well. Apparently 2018 is the year for Josh Brolin as he appeared on the big screen as villains in both “Deadpool 2” and “Avengers: Infinity War”. He has the range of giving comic book fans something to enjoy, in addition to fans of the thriller genre.

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is the sequel to the original “Sicario” which hit theaters back in 2015. The original film dealt with similar issues but focused mainly on drug trafficking. The new sequel has plenty of the same cast members, the two leads in particular. Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin both starred in the film’s predecessor, but the original film starred Emily Blunt as the lead, an actress that “Day of the Soldado” greatly needed. She was one of the reasons for the success of “Sicario” and her absence in the sequel leaves a bigger hole than needed.

The original film was also directed by Denis Villeneuve, one of the most talented directors working today. His artistry shined through that film, but that isn’t to say “Day of the Soldado” doesn’t come close. This film is well directed and even stayed on the same path of the first film by keeping the musical composition and cinematography as similar as possible.

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is written by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the original screenplay as well. He is also known for constructing the screenplays for “Wind River” and “Hell or High Water”. Sheridan clearly has the talents for writing successful crime thrillers, and that same talent shows in his latest movie.

While comparing sequels to their predecessors is important, it’s also important to show how unique sequels can be on their own. “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” works perfectly fine as a crime thriller, even if you disconnect it from the first movie. It continues a storyline, but it isn’t necessarily important to have seen Denis Villeneuve’s film first. That said, on its own, the film is very intense and thrilling, all while keeping an incredibly dark tone throughout. Given its genre, it successfully does what it’s supposed to do; entertain. It may not be as though-provoking or uniquely directed as the original, but “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is still a thrilling film that stands out from many others like it.

Rated R for strong violence, bloody images, and language

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)It likely looks as though the “Jurassic Park” franchise will grow to be as large and unnecessary as the “Transformers” or “Fast and Furious” movies. While it’s always fun to watch dinos run around and cause chaos, if it continues for too long, there is no doubt it will get old after a while. We can already start to see that happening with “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”.

Acting as the fifth instalment in the series, this Jurassic film is both frustratingly predictable, yet partially entertaining. After hearing news that a volcano on Isla Nublar is set to erupt, endangering the dinosaurs on the island, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) decides to go back to the island to save the dinosaurs. She teams up with other dinosaur rights activists along with Owen (Chris Pratt) who joins the team to get back to Blue, a raptor the he befriended and trained since she was a newborn. However, the entire operation is being controlled by Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), whose plans are much more sinister than they appear.

Once the film introduces the main plot, the action jumps right in and gives little to no time for character development, making the movie feel much more like a “Fast and Furious” movie. We know so little about the new characters in this story, that if they were snatched up and eaten, it would have no effect. While the action is entertaining for the most part, it lacks anything that might help us care about its outcome. “Fallen Kingdom” tries much to hard to be exciting, that it makes it even less exciting. The two leads constantly get themselves into situations that force the audience to wonder how they’ll get out. This happens every twenty minutes and got annoyingly old after the third time. The constant peril takes over the entire film leaving no room for anything else.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are a bit underwhelming as the leads and the surrounding performances are nothing notable, with the expectation Justice Smith as Franklin, the overly annoying dinosaur rights-activists who has a continuously high-pitched scream that is supposed to be funny. Instead of being funny, his scream gets rather annoying as one could imagine. Rather than his performance, it’s the character that’s the problem, showing how the screenplay resorts to many lows.

The plot results in plenty of eye-rolling moments through both the dialogue and the plot. The very concept of rescuing dinosaurs from an exploding island isn’t very exciting from the beginning and the film lived up to its disappointment. On top of its basic premise, the dialogue gets pretty cheesy as the film goes on, something that some will love, and some will hate.

Towards the end, the film gets much more tense and actually gives audiences something to care about. The action seems to get more thrilling, though still not as entertaining as one would hope for a Jurassic movie. We can already see that the creative ideas for the franchise are slowly starting to fade, with this film in particular being one of the least unique Jurassic experiences. While it’s key to keep the plot unique and original, it’s also important to keep the sequels grounded within the franchise, reminding true “Jurassic Park” fans of the all-time classic. It’s pretty unlikely that these films and the inevitable upcoming sequels will ever live up to the nostalgic sensation of the original, but “Fallen Kingdom” strays the furthest away from that feeling.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril

Incredibles 2

Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Brad Bird, and Huck Milner in Incredibles 2 (2018)Pixar’s latest adventure brings back the Fantastic Four-like animated superheroes we saw back fourteen years ago. Pixar’s “The Incredibles” showed us a family of superheroes; Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet and Dash, along with their friend Frozone. We even got a glimpse of the newborn Jack-Jack, whose powers remained a mystery until the end. Now, after fourteen years, we pick up right where the original left off with the Incredibles about ready to fight the supervillain named The Underminer. This isn’t the focal point of the sequel but acts as a nice bridge into a story in which Pixar’s shows its best abilities to continue story lines with ease.

Superheroes are still illegal and after the Incredibles are arrested for attempting to stop the Underminer, Elastigirl is offered a job to help promote super heroism, while her husband Mr. Incredible is left to take care of the kids in a ritzy house given to them by her employer, Winston Deavor. While Elastigirl is out saving the world, Mr. Incredible has difficulties figuring out Dash’s math homework, Violet’s boy crush, and Jack-Jack’s apparent never ending series of hidden powers. The majority of the film is basically split into two sides; one in which we follow Elastigirl and the twists and turns that come her way with her new job, and one in which we follow their family life at home with a baby that becomes much more important than originally thought.

The voice acting is incredibly well done (no pun intended) and cannot go unnoticed. Mr. Incredible is voiced by Craig T. Nelson, while his wife; Elastigirl is voiced by Holly Hunter. Sarah Vowell plays Violet, Huck Milner plays Dash, Eli Fucile plays Jack-Jack, Bob Odenkirk plays Winston Deavor, Catherine Keener plays Evelyn and Samuel L. Jackson plays Frozone.

The very best part of this film is watching Jack-Jack and his powers. He can burst into flames, fade through walls, shoot lasers from his eyes, or grow to an abnormally large size. This will surely please fans of the first film after its hilarious ending, in which we see Jack Jack’s powers unfold as he struggles with the main villain. Jack-Jack’s scenes in “Incredibles 2” are the best reasons to see this film and are without a doubt, the funniest moments of this Pixar sequel.

Pixar has had its bad share of sequels, but this definitely isn’t one of them. “Cars 2” and “Cars 3” are among the worst of them, and “Finding Dory” and Monsters University” never really lived up to fans’ wishes. However, we’ve also been given three “Toy Story” films that are each quite perfect. “Incredibles 2” is one of the much better sequels to come out of this animation company, giving many fans a sigh of relief.

While “Incredibles 2” is an animated kids movie, it’s still not made as much for children as it is for adults. There’s plenty of parenting humor to go around, and the movie acts as a way to please fans of the original (many of which are now in their early adulthood years). While there’s plenty for children to enjoy here, adults can have a great time as well and there may even be more laughter that comes from the parents watching the film than their children. The film acts as a stellar comedy and a constantly thrilling action movie, in addition to acting as a sweet family film for all ages.

Rated PG for action sequences and some brief mild language

Hotel Artemis

Jodie Foster, Jeff Goldblum, Charlie Day, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, and Sterling K. Brown in Hotel Artemis (2018)Written and directed by Drew Pearce, “Hotel Artemis” focuses on a secretly run hospital of the same name in the middle of a war-torn Los Angeles in the year 2028. The constant violence and riots in the streets leave many wounded, only you need to have a membership to get into the hospital. Hotel Artemis is run by who we and other characters only known as The Nurse, played by Jodie Foster. The normally quiet hospital is suddenly having a much busier night now that a group of robbers have come to stay, bringing along with them a stolen pen that is much more valuable than they thought. What it contains belongs to a big name crime boss named Wolf King, played by Jeff Goldblum, which complicates matters and brings together a clash of criminals.

The cast of “Hotel Artemis” is jammed packed with big names. The obvious ones here are Jodie Foster and Jeff Goldblum, two beloved and talented actors. While Goldblum seems to be in just about every movie that is released, Jodie Foster on the other hand has made her first on-screen appearance in five years. She has spent those years writing and directing, and it’s a breath of fresh air to be reminded of her acting talent. Sterling K. Brown plays Waikiki, one of the robbers who ran himself into a much bigger problem than imagined. Charlie Day plays the irritatingly violent and aggressive Acapulco, Sofia Boutella plays the sly and kick-ass Nice, and Dave Bautista plays the angry and protective Everest, the guard and protector of “Hotel Artemis”.

Writer/director Drew Pearce has taken an interesting turn in terms of his filmmaking. He has writing credits for both “Iron Man 3” and “Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation”. Now he has taken a turn to both writing and directing a film that is meant to be a social commentary. The film does have the action and thrill of those previous films but has still taken a huge turn from his previous works.

While the majority of the characters are criminals, there are plenty of likeable ones. However, that’s one of the very few things that makes “Hotel Artemis” enjoyable. While its nothing terrible or unworthy of attention, the film is still quite forgettable. With such an intriguing plot, one would think that it would be able to get audiences’ attention. The film is quiet fascinating at first, however scene by scene the film seems to let go of its grip as it derails, leaving much more to be desired. There is a great film here somewhere, but the biggest problem that ruined that opportunity is the sloppy screenplay.

“Hotel Artemis” is definitely creative in a world-building sense and with its characters, which can spark memories of the not so critically acclaimed “Suicide Squad”. While this may still be a better version of the failed anti-hero story, there are plenty of holes that leave us wanting something more. However, this isn’t to say there is nothing gratifying about the film. “Hotel Artemis” is comical here and there, thrilling here and there, and even dramatically meaningful here and there. The only problem is that it fails to stay consistent enough for any of that to matter in the long run.

Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use

Grade: C-