HOTEL ARTEMIS (15)
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, who has spent 22 torturous years within its cracked walls and self-medicates to numb the pain of her devastating loss.
Grungy production design is enhanced by South Korean cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon, who revels in the decaying grandeur of the central location. Foster’s searing performance is complemented by the bristling menace of Dave Bautista as an orderly, who threatens “to unheal” anyone who breaks the hospital’s bond of confidentiality. The promised prescription of thrills and spills delivers only a fleeting high.
THOMAS & FRIENDS: BIG WORLD! BIG ADVENTURES! THE MOVIE (U)
More than 70 years after Thomas The Tank Engine chugged out of the sidings in The Railway Series penned by Reverend Wilbert Awbry, the plucky blue locomotive embarks on his first round-the-world expedition.
Directed with a light touch by David Stoten, Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie is an extended chug down the tracks of the computer-animated TV series. Andrew Brenner’s linear script is easily digested by the target audience of preschoolers and promotes a timely message of diversity. Voiced by Kenyan-born actress Yvonne Grundy, the character of Nia is a soothing voice of reason for Thomas every time the blue locomotive believes he can accomplish great feats on his own. All aboard for 85 minutes of entertainment.