Hummingbird ★★★

I like Jason Statham in the roles he does well - campy action. This isn't a through-and-through action film a la The Transporter, but it does offer enough meat-headedness to be the type of role that would perfect for him. But there's enough character development in this film that could leave me worried that he wouldn't have the right-coloured crayons to fill in a complete picture. I was pleasantly surprised to see what could be the most nuanced performance I've ever seen out of Statham, demonstrating that he does possess a wider range of skills in his toolbox beyond fast hands and smug charm.

The film suffers significantly from a plot that never seems to come to a full boil, and a supporting actress that - believe it or not - can't meet Statham at his level. I never felt compelled to believe in their relationship and was left underwhelmed as the final act drew to a close. Throughout the film, Statham's "Crazy Joe" waffles between motive and routine to the point where audiences will find it difficult to really connect with his motivations.

Overall, the film is a darker tone than I expected, and covers well-trodden subject matter in fresh ways, including vigilantism, organized crime, addiction and PTSD. I don't know much about the writer/director, Steven Knight, except that he also wrote the screenplay for Eastern Promises - which I quite liked. But his work here feels like a comfortable balance between action set pieces and compelling character development that I'd like to see more of in this genre.

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