read the news // live the culture
The Upcoming | Read the news // Live the culture
Wednesday 26th November 2014
Menu
CultureCinemaMovie reviews

Hummingbird | Movie review

  Saturday 22nd June 2013
  Saturday 22nd June 2013

Steven Knight’s Hummingbird, starring Jason Statham, tells the story of Joey Jones, a homeless ex-marine and member of London’s criminal underworld who seeks revenge against those responsible for his girlfriend’s death. At its core, the film attempts to be about redemption and what it means to be ”good”. Unfortunately, though valiant, well-shot and at times thought provoking, the film isn’t about much at all.

Despite its noble efforts to introduce heart into the typically hollow British gangster genre, the film incorporates far too many heavy themes and therefore fails to deal with most of them effectively. Half-heartedly exploring homelessness, violence, crime, sex, religion, alcoholism, income inequality, absentee parenting, human trafficking and the quest for identity, Hummingbird has bitten off more than it can chew.

The film is littered with unfortunate clichés that cheapen what could have been an engaging storyline. The use of war flashbacks to explain Statham’s tortured mind and alcoholism is uninspired, as is the two-minute Rocky-esque montage depicting him ”getting his life back together”. It is predictable and bland, which is a real shame. In addition, there are some truly terrible and cringe-worthy cameos that, again, belittle the narrative. Overall, the frequent and insultingly shallow dialogue makes it difficult for the main characters to emerge as anything more than two-dimensional, and it is consequently tough to feel much empathy for them.

As is to be expected of Statham, there are some great one liners, most notably when he threatens to kill a homeless man ”with a spoon,” but the action is  surprisingly infrequent and mostly without suspense; there is no sense of danger at all.

However, it is very well shot. Knight’s parallel between the beautiful London skyline and the gritty underbelly beneath it is powerful and stimulating in its portrayal of these two very different worlds. Statham (as always) oozes cool with his sharp eyes, sharp suit and sharp cockney accent.

Overall, the film is simply too ambitious and therefore fails to be truly engaging. It isn’t dramatic enough to be a drama, it isn’t thrilling enough to be a thriller and there isn’t enough action to be an action film. As a viewer, you leave with a sense of dissatisfaction at having experienced so little. It is certainly original as far as British gangster flicks go, but isn’t gritty or entertaining.

Ben Corrigan

Hummingbird is released nationwide on 28th June 2013.

Watch the trailer for Hummingbird here:


More about the author


Share this story


  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

We Are the Giant | Movie review
We Are the Giant

The Arab Spring uprisings in late 2010 provoked a wave of pro-democratic revolutions across the Middle East. Instigated [read more]

Stations of the Cross | Movie review
Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg) by German director Dietrich Brüggemann, is a coming-of-age story depicting the [read more]

What We Do in the Shadows | Movie review
What We Do in the Shadows

Horror comedy is a notoriously difficult genre to master. For every Shaun of the Dead, Scream or Zombieland, there are [read more]

A Wonderful Christmas Time | Movie review
A Wonderful Christmas Time

A Wonderful Christmas Time is set in the teeny Welsh town called Porthcawl, where direction is slight, romance is [read more]

Get on Up screening with Heineken Star Access
Get on Up screening with Heineken Star Access

Trying to compress the turbulent and triumphant life of James Brown, the self-styled “hardest working man in [read more]

Archives