‘Hummingbird’ is a bit of a curveball for anyone expecting the usual Jason Statham beat-’em-up. He plays an ex-special forces soldier – so far, so Statham – who is now homeless. But after breaking into a swanky flat whose owner is away, he transforms himself into an agent of social justice. He orders Domino’s pizza for a homeless soup kitchen, buys ballet tickets for a young nun (Agata Buzek, one to watch) and takes on a murderous city boy, among other do-goodery. He also works for the Chinese mob. Of course he does.
Veteran director of photography Chris Menges (‘Kes’, ‘The Killing Fields’) invests scenes involving elements you might find in a cheesy sexploitation flick (nuns, sex workers, murders, abuse, Chinese gangsters, drugs, violence…) with a steely yet lyrical tone reminiscent of Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral’. It all makes for Brit grit done a little differently, and Londoners will have fun playing spot the street sign in this largely Soho-set drama, which makes good use of extensive location shooting to ground the action in a recognisably real city. ‘Hummingbird’ doesn’t always work but wins points for originality.