Certificate: 15

Running Time: 94 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

STYLE confidently trumps substance in Drew Pearce's intriguing dystopian thriller about a secret membership-only hospital for the criminal fraternity. Set during a sweltering summer of civil unrest in futuristic Los Angeles, Hotel Artemis dazzles with expertly choreographed fight sequences and pithy one-liners. The writer-director is aided by a mesmerising lead performance from Jodie Foster as the agoraphobic clinician in charge of the hospital. Shuffling down dimly lit corridors or staring forlornly into the camera with haunted, sunken eyes, the Oscar-winning actress captures the desolation of a broken woman who is at the beck and call of her members, but seldom permits herself to forge lasting connections. When one of the other characters eventually breaks down her defences, rage and grief pour out of her like molten lava.

Meanwhile, outside the clinic it's June 2028 and Los Angeles is a tinderbox of incendiary emotions. A shadowy corporation has turned off the city's water supply, sparking days of riots. While baton-wielding police keep the angry horde at bay, Sherman (Sterling K Brown) and brother Lev (Brian Tyree Henry) orchestrate a bank heist, culminating in a gunfight with armed officers. Lev takes a potentially fatal bullet and Sherman rushes his sibling to Hotel Artemis, run by The Nurse (Foster) and her hulking assistant, Everest (Dave Bautista). When sadistic underworld boss The Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum) is unexpectedly rushed to the hospital by his jittery heir apparent (Zachary Quinto), other patients prepare to make a hasty recovery.

Hotel Artemis is a blood-smeared bauble, polished to a deceptive lustre by an excellent ensemble cast. Pearce conjures a vivid alternate reality in which bad men and women use their ill-gotten gains to repeatedly cheat death.