Full of neon lights, moody pauses and acts of brutal and sudden violence, director Steven Knight draws heavily from Only God Forgives and Drive however it is a poor copy at best. While those films had a beauty to them, an almost ethereal quality, Hummingbird is a nothing more than a dark smudge on everyone involved; welcome to London’s seedy underbelly where the homeless line the streets, prostitution is rife, human trafficking is common place and Jason Statham plays well he plays Jason Statham.
Here his characters name might be Joey but he is indistinguishable from Brant, Arthur or any of the other hard men he has played. That is not to say the Stath is a bad actor, he is very good at what he does: Violence, explosions and with a slice of comedy thrown in for good measure. Simply put: One thing guaranteed from a film staring the Englishman is action.
However Hummingbird,or Redemption to our American cousins, is not his usual fare. It takes about half an hour for the merest sniff of a meaningful fracas and when it does come, via an inexplicably brutal game of knifey-spoony, it fails to kick-start the anticipated fisticuffs. This could all be forgiven if the narrative was strong or interesting but it’s not. Instead of focusing on Joey’s haunted past it faffs about with meaningless plot threads that only increase the boredom and string out an already mundane story. Indeed they seem only to exist to increase the run time as do the numerous pauses between Statham and his onscreen love interest Agata Buzek, ostensibly there to develop some chemistry between the two instead it just looks like they have forgotten their lines.
Verdict: Hummingbird meanders meaninglessly throughout numerous story lines,never deciding which one is key, before arriving at an unsatisfactory ending and by the time it does you, like its main character, will be dreaming of the sweet oblivion of a bottle alcohol.