This British/American action thriller stars Jason Statham, who continues to be cast as an anti-hero. In Hummingbird (2013), also known as Redemption in the USA, he plays an ex Royal Marine Special Forces operative who has gone AWOL from his unit in Afghanistan and now lives with other unfortunates sleeping rough on the streets of London and haunted by nightmares of Helmond province. Its when Crazy Joe, as he is known to the other inmates of Covent Garden’s cardboard city, and his girlfriend Isobel are attacked by two thugs, that he stumbles upon a yuppie’s flat. Discovering that its tenant is away in America for nearly eight months he decides to stay, dispense with his alcoholic tendencies and bring himself back up to peak fitness. Helped by the fact that the owner has left the keys to his Mercedes, a bank card along with a pin number and clothes that fit our ex-soldier perfectly he’s nicely set up to search for Isobel, who has been missing since the attack, and carry out a spot of vengeance on the assailants. Finding himself a job in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant he soon gets spotted as a likely hard man and is recruited by some Chinese gangsters as their enforcer. In to this mix comes Sister Christina (Agata Buzek) who runs the soap kitchen that has helped keep Joe and his street compatriots alive. Christina is having doubts about her calling and decides to have a wee fling with Joe before submerging herself in missionary work in Africa.
Directing his debut feature film is screenwriter Steven Knight who is best known for writing screenplays that have include Dirty Pretty Things (2002) directed by Stephan Frears, David Cronenburg’s Eastern Promise (2009) and Amazing Grace (2006) which was directed by Michael Apted who himself was responsible for helming Carol White’s penultimate film The Squeeze in 1977. Recently you may have seen Knight name amongst the credits for an unusually good BBC series called Peaky Blinders, which he created and wrote.
To be able to enjoy this film you really do have to suspend your disbelieve! But saying that if you are keen on a genre movie that allows Mr Statham a chance to go deeper, character wise, than he’s normally allowed to portray then this could be the film for you. Far better than Killer Elite (2010) it actually gives him a chance to act out a person you can almost believe in. A movie that’s made far more watchable by the cinematography of the great Chris Menges whose curriculum vitae includes working with such British greats as Ken Loach, Lindsay Anderson and Bill Forsyth.