Trailer Park Thursday: “Robin Hood” and “Hotel Artemis”

For as many movies that center on the experience of superheroes, police officers, and investigators, there are just as many that sympathize with the so-called “bad guys.” Let’s face it: There’s just something cool about breaking all the rules! Whether it’s ostensibly for the greater good or just another way to make a living, sometimes crime doesn’t just pay—it also rules the day. This week, we’re taking a look at two new releases: One offers a fresh take on a vintage plot device, and one injects an ancient folk legend with some serious firepower. What do they have in common? They both make being bad look devastatingly good.

Hotel Artemis

Once, she hunted heinous criminals as an ambitious up-and-coming FBI agent. Now, she runs a clandestine hospital for criminals in the bowels of a near-future dystopian Los Angeles. The stoicism that has defined Jodie Foster’s most acclaimed roles—in Taxi Driver, The Silence of the Lambs, and Contact, to name just a few—seems to have softened with age and ironic self-awareness. This may well be Foster at her historical funniest!

In broad strokes, Hotel Artemis could be set anywhere, anytime: A safe house in the Old West, a remote outpost off of an intergalactic trade route, you get the idea. That the movie is set a decade from now is all in the details—the 3D-printed guns, state-of-the-art medical equipment, and the masks that look like they were built to scramble facial recognition software.

It’s a convention that, while not groundbreaking, is certainly effective, and gives the opportunity for many kinds of characters to come through the doors. Among them: Sofia Boutella, doing a riff on her character from Atomic Blonde, Charlie Day at his sleazy peak, Sterling K. Brown in, thankfully, a much bigger role than he had in Black Panther, and dad…sorry, Jeff Goldblum, as someone fittingly called the Wolf King. All are after the film’s vaguely futuristic MacGuffin, an ugly pen filled with eighteen (or was it eighty?) million dollars worth of ugly diamonds. All the while, a fiery riot rages outside the hotel walls. Oh, and our fave Jenny Slate is there, too, even though she’s inexplicably uncredited in this trailer. Hotel Artemis will be in theaters starting June 8, which, believe it or not, is just around the corner. Out of curiosity, with inflation, what do you think eighteen million dollars in 2028 works out to today?

Robin Hood

Maybe we still haven’t recovered from the severely awesome aesthetics of this year’s Met Gala, but we’re definitely feeling this medieval “mudpunk” look. We’re not so much feeling this “who’s under the hood” tagline because it sounds like a car commercial, but you can’t win them all. This latest iteration of the class warrior folk hero and his escapades is, by all appearances, basically gun-fu except with bows and arrows instead. So…” the bow?” Whatever it is, the action seems to take place in an alternate dimension that looks a little like Richard the Lionheart-era Europe, except with a lot more leather and some really suspiciously powerful-looking crossbows. Director Otto Bathurst is best known for his work on Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror, and basically, Robin Hood could be a little bit of both. Look, we have no problem with taking historical liberties, okay? The real crime here, in our humble opinion, is making this action-packed caper without the talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, or Andrew Scott. Robin Hood will be in theaters on November 21, which gives us plenty of time to get over it.

Do you love previews? We sure do! Join us in the Trailer Park for weekly hot takes on the coolest Coming Attractions (popcorn not included). In case you missed it, catch up with our reviews of “Sharp Objects” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Woman Walks Ahead” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “Puzzle” and “Mary Shelley.”
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