5 items from 2013
★★☆☆☆ After garnering praise for his screenwriting efforts on both Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Eastern Promises (2007), Steven Knight makes his directorial debut with Hummingbird (2013). Previously titled Redemption, this London-set thriller is not your typical Jason Statham vehicle. Yet, while "the Stath" proves he's up to the task, the uneven screenplay is where most of the film's problems stem from. Statham stars as Joey Jones, a homeless ex-Special Forces soldier living on the streets with his companion Isabel (Victoria Bewick). When they are attacked by local hoodlums, Joey escapes by breaking into an apartment.
Upon realising that its owner will be out of town for the summer, Jones begins to rebuild his life and, with the help of compassionate nun Cristina (Agata Buzek), he soon sets out to find the missing Isabel. There are many interesting narrative threads at work in Knight's Hummingbird; in addition to the rags to riches element, there »
- CineVue UK
It’s not hard to spot a “Jason Statham movie”. Suit and tie? Check. Wicked fighting skills? Double check. Awesome backstory? Triple check. Steven Knight’s directorial debut, “Redemption” (aka “Hummingbird”) has all those three things, though you might not realize this is a Jason Statham movie until the Stath finally beats up some punks, which doesn’t happen until nearly 30 minutes into the film. Even then, you will be hardpressed to call “Redemption” a “Jason Statham movie”, as it never really progresses the way you expect it to, much less climax the way you were probably predicting (or hoping for). Being unpredictable is “Redemption’s” biggest asset. The film is filled with pathos and glitzy, gritty London nighttime scenery, picking up with a traumatized, on-the-run former Special Forces guy (awesome backstory!) Joey Jones living on the streets with his buddy Isabel (Victoria Bewick), when they’re accosted by local toughs. »
Director: Steven Knight.
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Synopsis: Homeless veteran Joey Jones (Jason Statham) finds himself with the opportunity to rebuild his life after stumbling upon the empty apartment of a rich businessman. But first, he has more than a few scores to settle around London’s seedy criminal underworld.
Hummingbird’s posters do something of a disservice to the film’s true nature. Where Jason Statham’s face would usually conjure up images of cracked skulls and bloodied car bonnets, Hummingbird strives to show a different side to the actor than the one we’ve seen previously. Admittedly, Statham has done well to carve out a name for himself in his usual roles, but forget about Crank and The Transporter – Hummingbird is something else entirely. It’s still a Jason Statham vehicle, not least because everything else around him isn’t that great, »
- Chris Wharfe
Other movie stars get into the profession for the fame, the money, the girls. Jason Statham just wants to be The Catcher in the Rye.
In film after film, going back as far as "The Transporter," he's played characters out to save a damsel in distress, out to rescue some woman in need of rescuing.
That's the set-up in his latest, "Redemption." But it's more than that. And the fact that this isn't the only sort of character he's played, that he makes even relatively routine actioners like this one interesting. is why it's never been fair to compare him to muscleheads like Stallone and Schwarzenegger, Van Damme and Seagal. He's better than that.
Something happened to Sgt. Joseph Jones over in Afghanistan, something glimpsed in flashbacks partly shown as drone surveillance video. He deserted, went underground. And now he's homeless, a haunted vet on the mean surveillance-camera-covered streets of London, »
As the screenwriter of “Dirty Pretty Things” and “Eastern Promises,” Steven Knight opened our eyes to characters scraping by in the shadows of London society. With “Redemption,” he shifts into the director’s chair while maintaining the same attention to half-overlooked souls — here, an ex-Special Forces officer now living on the streets, haunted by the realization that violence is evidently his only skill. Jason Statham is both an asset and liability in the lead role, which superficially resembles the star’s other work just enough to confound his fans, or at least the few who mistake this for another brainless, brawny thriller.
Already open in several international markets, where its title ranges from France’s “Crazy Joe” to “Hummingbird” in the U.K., this June 28 domestic release puts an intriguing, intermittently successful spin on the sort of loner Statham so often embodies. The bullet-headed action star strips his usual man-against-the-world »
- Peter Debruge
5 items from 2013
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