DVD review: Hummingbird

MIKE MATHER
Last updated 09:47 20/11/2013
DVD review: Hummingbird
DVD review: Hummingbird

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REVIEW: Hummingbird
(StudioCanal, R16)

There will no doubt be plenty of punters who hire this film expecting the usual wall-to-wall shoot 'em up fare Jason Statham has made his stock-in-trade.

Hummingbird is a lot better than that.

It's also Statham's best performance to date.

There's more to the man than just glower, gunplay and karate kicks to the head.

Statham plays a former special forces soldier, now a homeless alcoholic on London's mean streets and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or whatever they are calling it these days.

Joey Jones is also on the run from a military court martial, following misdeeds in the Middle East.

After gang thugs abduct and eventually get one of his friends killed, Jones pulls himself together and embarks on a quest for vengeance.

So far, so Death Wish 4 - but where Hummingbird differs from such bloodthirst-sating stuff is in writer/director Steven Knight's thoughtful, beautifully paced screenplay - his best work since Dirty Pretty things in 2003.

Knight was a big part of the team who created the original British version of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire TV series in the 1990s. Ruminate on that for a moment.As well as an excellent script, Statham is also blessed with the casting of Agata Buzek as a troubled nun who takes sympathy with Jones' plight, but then becomes almost an unwilling accomplice to his occasionally very violent enterprise.

Will Jones make amends for his past sins? It gives the game away somewhat to reveal the film goes by the much less cryptic title Redemption in the United States and some other countries.A nearly perfect marriage of beauty and brutality, Hummingbird deserves some buzz.

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