Jason Statham takes a darker role than usual in a gritty London drama that never quite seems sure of itself, as writer-turned-director Knight mashes several huge social issues with a hint of action and a rather awkward romance. It's always intriguing, and has several jaw-dropping moments along the way, but ultimately leaves us wondering why Knight made the film at all.
Statham plays Joey, an ex-soldier on the run from the military police. Living homeless in central London, he breaks into a sexy loft flat and discovers that the resident will be away for eight months. So he assumes his identity, borrows his bank account and starts his life over with a job in a Chinese restaurant. Then his bosses (Wong and Lee) notice how good he is in a fight, and give him a high-paying job as a mob goon. With his new wealth, he starts helping out Cristina (Buzek), the Polish-born nun who feeds the homeless in Covent Garden. As they begin a strange friendship, he also contacts his bitter ex-wife (McClure) and young daughter.
As he did in his scripts for Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises, Knight reels off the social issues in London's underbelly: illegal immigrants, human trafficking, gang violence, desperate prostitution, post-traumatic stress. But the real story here is Joey's redemption, as pointedly symbolised by the hummingbirds that flit through his drug-detox dreams. As he tries to help Cristina in a variety of sometimes contrived ways, she responds by improbably falling for him. Meanwhile, he spends a lot of time searching for a missing friend (Bewick) while also trying to make things up to his ex.
Continue reading: Hummingbird [Redemption] Review
Joey Jones has been living on the streets for a while, but after receiving a particularly bad beating by some street thugs, he decides to re-build his life once and for all. Breaking into another person's home, he changes his identity and scrubs up (quite literally) in order to get a as a chef and security guard at a London restaurant. His help ridding the eatery of any problems they might have with his swift fighting skills motivates his boss to offer him a new job which leaves him more better off than he's ever been. He decides to set out on a mission to help the poverty stricken community in which he once lived, a decision that is dramatically increased by the murder of his best friend Isabel. However, as much as he wants to use his newfound money to help those in need, he wants more than anything to start a new life and finally get away from his past.
Continue: Redemption - Clip
After being particularly badly beaten while living on the streets, Joey Jones is determined to get his life back on track. He is ex-special forces on the run from military court so when he finds the opportunity to transform into another person, he grabs it with both hands. Working as a chef in a London restaurant, he also acts as security using his specialist skills to overpower any trouble that might come their way. When his boss offers some new kind of work, he decides that he must do everything in his power to help people whose lives have been destroyed by poverty, especially when he is informed of the brutal death of one of his closest friends. However, he is torn between his desire to help those in need, and run away and start over his own life in a new place.
Continue: Hummingbird Trailer
Manzor's script grafts upon this movie a Citizen Kane-type structure as it shunts us between the occasion of Napoleon's exhumation in Paris in 1840 and 20 years earlier, during Napoleon's island imprisonment. Upon his exhumation, the question is raised of how Napoleon died -- from an ulcer or slow poisoning? -- and whether Napoleon died at all -- or, as rumor has it, he foisted his butler Cipriani's body in place of his own and escaped to an anonymous life elsewhere. To find out, Heathcote questions Napoleon's mistress, Albine (Elsa Zylberstein), and the few officers who attended to him on St. Helena, as well as the British governor, Hudson Lowe (Richard E. Grant), once in charge of Napoleon's imprisonment and now reduced to an aging and disgraced wreck. Their reflections -- alternately wistful and caustic -- cue us to extended flashbacks of those island years and of Napoleon's shrewdly enigmatic persona. There is also the question of Betsy Balcombe (Siobhan Hewlett), an English merchant's daughter on St. Helena with whom Napoleon has an affair -- much to Albine's chagrin and Heathcote's too, for we're meant to believe that Heathcote's also smitten with her. But his gambit, at one point, to express his feelings to her is laughable, because it's such an obvious ploy by Manzor to bring his character to some turn-of-fate, having arrived here using voiceovers as a shortcut device and never treading the hard road of character development to earn his way.
Continue reading: Monsieur N. Review
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