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Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Jason Statham
Agata Buzek
Benedict Wong
Ger Ryan.
Steven Knight.
Steven Knight.
Running Time
100 minutes

4 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
Intern, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Nightmare, The
3 Star Empire Rating

5 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Never takes flight

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Joey Smith (Statham) is a homeless veteran nursing a drug habit with his friend Isabel. When they’re attacked, he escapes and falls through a skylight into the empty apartment of a rich man. Joey builds a new life and sets out to find Isabel, with the help of a friendly nun (Buzek).


This was supposed to be the film that showed us Jason Statham was more than an action star and Steven Knight was more than a much-praised screenwriter. Unfortunately, a strangely on-the-nose script and a succession of unlikely developments means that it doesn’t even live up to the best of Statham’s more brainless fare, let alone Knight’s best screenplays to date.

It’s not that Statham is bad; he’s clearly straining to show another side here, toning down his previously unstoppable action hero to a more fallible scale and giving a sense of the weight of violence on his shoulders. While it’s a little hard to believe that such a capable warrior would decline quite so far, the film eventually explains why his life might fall apart and why he might rebuild it as he does. The problem is that it can’t decide from one moment to the next whether he’s a badass or a bruised mess.

Rather than blending the realism of Knight’s London with a heightened story — as, say, his Eastern Promises managed — this swerves between reality and fantasy without quite convincing as either. The decision to make a love interest of a nun stinks of melodrama, and while Knight does his best to give Agata Buzek’s Sister Cristina a compelling backstory and her own character, stacking such an improbable affair on top of the story’s other implausibilities challenges the suspension of disbelief.

Occasionally, the film seems to slip into a groove — the Statham-standard quest to track down the missing Isabel drives it for a while, and later the tentative love story with Cristina briefly gives it its impetus — but the needle always jumps to another track. There are traces of brave and interesting ideas here, but ironically it’s Knight’s script that fails to tie them together and leaves the director and his cast struggling to pull a coherent story from the mess.

An awkward mix of realist social drama and Statham actioner, this doesn’t quite convince as either. A disappointing start to Knight’s directing career.

Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Hummingbird
Empire Star Rating

RE: Hummingbird

You've got to hand it to screenwriter Steven Knight, in that he didn't get 'too' bogged down with the issues of post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and human trafficking. Instead, he seemed to concentrate on making A Jason Statham Movie, and in that respect Hummingbird is as good as it can be. It's not that The Stath™ completely rescues the film, but it certainly becomes more forgivable with him heading the charge. What you see is what you get, ie Jason Statham. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 12:24, 25 May 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Hummingbird

With patience, Hummingbird's panorama comes into full view, and it is one full of arrestingly arranged set pieces and an impressive sense of economy.bird ... More

Posted by chang at 12:25, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: A solid crime drama

A rather dull movie. An interesting idea that never quite takes off. I was bored half way through. Would not recommend and i love me some Jason Stratham ... More

Posted by princessa at 16:24, 30 July 2013 | Report This Post

A solid crime drama

I personally find this review is harsh against the film and I feel that if it was starring someone Michael Fassbender or Tom Hardy the review would much more positive. If you are expecting a Jason Statham actioneer you would be disappointed because there are only three fight scenes: but it works as a crime drama. The film does juggle three different storylines which is problematic but I liked the grounded, grim setting and the juxaposition of wealth and poverty and the themes of post-tramatic di... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by freemantle_uk at 22:44, 16 July 2013 | Report This Post

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