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Times of India
Back from Afghanistan, a homeless former Royal Marine gets an opportunity to change his identity. It is a decision that alters his life.
A glance at the film poster might suggest that Jason Statham (playing Joey Jones) with his thousand-yard stare has just done what he usually does in movies - busting skulls and breaking bones from beginning to end. Not so here. Hummingbird has him on the biggest tangent of his career.
A bum on the mean streets of back-alley London, fate (or God, as he puts it) lands him in the vacant house of someone really loaded. Jones realises that this is his chance at getting his life together again. He decides to assume the identity of the apartment's owner. What he doesn't realise is that slipping into a second skin can only go that far.
Jones soon slides into London's dark underworld, populated by the Chinese and Russian mafia, using his combat training for cash. Suffering from guilt-ridden hallucinations, he uses vodka to allay his post-combat demons. He tries to redeem himself by using the ill-gotten money to buy good food for the homeless and nice things for a nun called Cristina (Agata Buzek) who runs a makeshift soup kitchen. An urban Robin Hood? No, not quite.
Cristina is his 'angel'. She is the epitome of empathy and represents all that is good to him - the better person that he knows he can never again become. She senses his turmoil and is not put off. They are both damaged and in a city that is a sea of strangers, their stories are irrevocably intertwined.
Dialogues are sparse and minimal, thankfully so. The score (Dario Marianelli) elegantly fills in the silences, speaking volumes. It is intense, but thanks to the editing, steers away from being drippy. Statham's stony visage tries to emote, often successfully. If this film marks a new direction for Statham's career, he's on the right track.
The direction is rock solid , and the main characters are nicely fleshed out with real back story along with haunting tragedy . All-in-all a very well put together production, despite a few minor niggles but I'd still put it amongst hard-man Jason's best performances as well as his better films in general, although those expecting an all-out action movie better look elsewhere as this is mostly a drama, and a very good one at that.