- James Mottram
- 10 June 2013
A confusing mix of action and arthouse by Steven Knight wich sadly fails at both
Whether it’s Dirty Pretty Things or Eastern Promises, writer Steven Knight’s screenplays have always managed to capture a seedier side to London. And Hummingbird, set around the alleyways of Soho and Chinatown, is no different. It’s just a shame that his directorial debut, about a soldier who falls for a nun (no, really), is about as ludicrous as it sounds.
Ditching (briefly) his hard-man routine, Jason Statham is Joey Jones, a long-haired hobo living on the streets just a year after he was serving in Afghanistan. On the run from a military court martial and fuelled by vodka, he’s still haunted by his time in the Middle East.
If Knight had the seeds of a semi-interesting tale of post-traumatic stress disorder, he swiftly veers away from social commentary, as Jones lucks out, breaking into an empty apartment to get his life back on track. Soon enough, he’s working for local Chinese gangsters and falling under the spell of Cristina (Agata Buzek), a nun who feeds London’s homeless every night.
It’d be unfair to say Statham was out of his depth here -- though he does seem more comfortable when he shaves that long hair, suits up and starts throwing punches. The Polish-born Buzek, who worked on Peter Greenaway’s Nightwatching, is also a decent performer. But with lines like ‘I believe in justice’, as Statham’s character goes questing for redemption, Hummingbird emerges as a confusing mix of action and arthouse. Sadly, it fails at both.
General release from Fri 28 Jun.