Hummingbird (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/06/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

This is an engaging, enjoyable and beautifully shot thriller with an intriguingly offbeat script and superb performances from Statham and Buzek, though it does have the odd moment of unintentional hilarity and there's a little too much going on in the plot for it all to come together properly.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Steven Knight, Hummingbird stars Jason Statham as Joey, an ex-special forces soldier who's on the run from military police and living rough on the streets of London. When he breaks into an expensive apartment, he realises that the owner will be away for several months, so he steals his identity (conveniently fitting into all his perfectly-tailored suits) and dedicates himself to helping Polish-born nun Cristina (Agata Buzek), who feeds the homeless from a Covent Garden soup kitchen.

When Chinese mob bosses (Benedict Wong and Michelle Lee) notice Joey's arse-kicking abilities they offer him a lucrative job as an enforcer, allowing him to use his newfound criminal underworld connections to try and trace homeless friend Isabel (Victoria Bewick), who he fears has been forced into prostitution. At the same time, Joey tries to re-establish contact with his ex-wife (Vicky McClure) and their young daughter.

The Good
Despite the generous quantities of arse being kicked, this isn't the traditional Jason Statham vehicle it might appear at first glance; instead it has much more of a dramatic edge and a focus on the city's various underclasses, essentially forming the third part of a London trilogy with Knight's two previous, similarly-themed scripts for Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises. That said, the film still indulges certain aspects of Statham's star persona and the script has a lot of fun with the offbeat nature of the central romance, particularly when Joey takes Cristina to a photography exhibition with lots of penis photos.

Statham is excellent as Joey (needless to say, the part doesn't require him to stray too far out of his comfort zone, though hardcore Statham fans will no doubt be relieved when he shaves his head at the beginning) and he generates surprisingly sweet chemistry with Buzek, despite the unintentional hilarity of the Statham-woos-nun set-up. Buzek, in turn, is terrific as Cristina, whose warmth, humanity and gentle humour form the emotional heart of the film.

The Bad
The main problem is that there is so much going on in the plot that several elements get lost in the mix: the wife and daughter subplot could have been cut completely with no impact on the overall story, for example. Similarly, the film often raises interesting ideas (such as a disturbing sequence of human trafficking) only to swiftly ignore them; it's also unclear why Joey doesn't immediately channel everything into looking for Isabel since she's so important to him.

Worth seeing?
Hummingbird is an entertaining, well made London-based thriller with a strong script and a potentially star-making turn from Agata Buzek. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Hummingbird (15)
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Content updated: 24/10/2017 01:18

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