So good they named it twice!

The name Jason Statham is synonymous with action movies and is recognised the world over thanks to a careful choice of roles (and a good agent), but I have often wondered at his ability to act. He has a definite screen presence that puts him near the top of the action movie heap but he can only do so many of those types of film before he goes the way of so many who have gone before. Admittedly Statham is a better class of action hero but eventually you have to adapt or die, and this looks to be a step in the right direction. It’s an action thriller, first and foremost but it’s also a complex story of tortured souls seeking something meaningful, and who meet at a crucial time in their lives.

Joey (Statham) is a special forces soldier, on the run from a court martial and is now living on the London streets thanks to his alcoholism. He and his friend Isabel (Victoria Bewick) are beaten up and run from the scene but get split up, however as Joey seeks out a hiding place he comes across an empty apartment and hides inside. Joey looks around for booze and medicine to dull the pain of broken ribs, and soon learns he has the place to himself for nine months. Strangely all the clothes fit perfectly and he even manages to find a credit card along with it’s pin number, but thankfully my willingness to suspend disbelief didn’t get stretched further than these pair of oddities. He starts working in a restaurant but soon comes to the attention of drug dealing Chinese gangsters (after a display of ass kicking) and now the cash comes pouring in.

Whilst on the streets, Joey befriends Sister Cristina, who hands out hot soup to street people, and was played brilliantly by little known Polish actor Agata Buzek. She appeared to have been made for the part and was well cast as the nun. Sister Cristina has a yearning to do right by her uniform, and her deeds are echoed beautifully by Joey’s plight, as he has his own demons caused by actions taken while he wore ‘his’ uniform in Afghanistan. She is an introvert with a hidden past but is also a very complicated person, looking for a way exorcise her unwanted feelings toward this dangerous man, but she also wants most of all, the very thing she can never really have.

Joey has a wife and young daughter he hasn’t seen in over a year, but he spends some of his ill gotten gains on buying loads of pizzas and the like, for his old street cronies, but his main drive (eventually) is to find the killer of his pal Isabel after she was found raped and beaten to death. He hadn’t heard from Isabel since the time they were chased. We of course get the obligatory pouring the booze down the sink scene followed by some bad DT’s, where he sees lots of Hummingbirds (thus the name), but even with this being a Jason Statham vehicle, it is so much more and very enjoyable. This might not be to the liking of his usual action movie fans because even with some superb violence it’s of the cerebral type of Brit action movie that successfully has our bald hero combining punch ups with a philosophical look at duty, but this is a side to Statham I could get used to and hope to see more of. It’s arguably his best movie to date and may appeal to a wider audience than his normal fare. I certainly hope so.

Highly Recommended

Grade: B-