Hummingbird - Blu-ray Review

'The conclusion of Statham's relationship with a nun is satisfying without making you feel like you need a shower and a Roger Corman movie to wash the taste away.'

Just prior to watching Locke, the closing night film of the 2014 Bradford International Film Festival, it was a little surprising to learn that that film's director, Steven Knight, was also the writer/director of 2013's Hummingbird. Locke is, of course, an experimental film set mainly in a BMW 4x4, the filming for which consisted of the script being read in full, several times a night, from the aforementioned vehicle. Hummingbird is a Thriller starring Jason Statham. If Knight is determined to forge a directorial career during which he avoids being pigeonholed then he has at least started in the right way.

Even more surprisingly than discovering the relationship between Locke and Hummingbird is the fact that the decidedly pulpy latter film both shares some of Locke's interests and is actually a very functional tale, comfortably in the area that will keep you interested for one-hundred minutes on a Friday night. Homeless after running away from a military tribunal, Joey (Statham) falls foul of a local gang and escapes into a London flat. Quickly realising the occupant is going to be absent for some time, Joey assumes his identity and sets out to piece his life back together and right some wrongs over the course of a few months and several sets of flamboyant borrowed clothes.

Straight away there's a clear similarity between Locke and Hummingbird in terms of Knight's interest in our multiple identities and paths not chosen. Like Tom Hardy's Ivan Locke, Statham's Joey is not a clear hero, though he is the protagonist. Throughout Hummingbird he makes dubious decisions, eventually graduating to work for some nefarious characters, whilst another side of him gives generously to charity and sets out to avenge a homeless friend. It's not as obvious as Locke's character crossroads, but there is enough there to make Joey an interesting character.

Knight's tasteful direction of his own script extends to his treatment of the Romantic interest: Agata Buzek's Cristina, who also happens to be a nun. In different hands, a Jason Statham film where the main love arc features a nun could have played out very differently but Knight largely eschews the tawdry stuff and presents something more interesting, more respectful and more in-keeping with the rest of his film. The conclusion of the relationship, and the film, is satisfying without making you feel like you need a shower and a Roger Corman movie to wash the taste away.

Statham meanwhile does get to crack a few heads, but this emerges as more Thriller than Action, with Knight apparently more interested in his character's predicaments than he is with flying fists and gunplay. For Knight's next trick, I'm expecting an experimental Romantic Comedy that makes us all re-assess Jennifer Aniston.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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