Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Some typecasted action actors appear to never have the desire to cross the boundary line between action and drama to break the stereotype allocated to them. Perhaps it is the insecurity of creating a character that is not based on their excellent round-house kicks or perhaps it is the insecurity of exposure. Whatever it is, when it works well it is a delight, when it doesn’t it puts a bit of a dent into their tough-guy persona. We review Redemption.
It is surprising to see Jason Statham in anything other than a macho action man role but, even though we still get a fair amount of rough action-man-beating-up sequences, we get to see the softer side of him in Redemption.
After witnessing the brutal killing of his platoon in Afghanistan, Joey Jones (Jason Statham), finds himself living as a homeless man on the streets of London trying to cope with his post-traumatic stress all the while living off alcohol and hand-outs. After being pursued by a local thug one night, Joey finds himself hiding out in an upmarket apartment. When he discovers that the owner will not be back for many months he decides to stay in the apartment and use the opportunity (and funds) to get back on his feet. With his new found wealth he aims to make amends, improve the lives of his fellow feeding scheme friends, Sister Cristina (Agata Buzek) who runs the scheme as well as attempting to rescue his friend Isabel from the streets.
The amount of stories branching off the original plot confuses and dilutes the story, causing the storyline to come out a bit blurry. In fact, some of the metaphors used within the film are missed due to muffled dialogue and lack of clarity, repetition and development. The apparent connection between the hummingbirds and Joey’s paranoia of being continuously observed by drones is only understood once you are told it was supposed to be there. Good thing the film wasn’t released under the original title of Hummingbird. That would be all too confusing.
For most first-time genre-crossers, it takes a few films to get the hang of breaking the typecast, hopefully, Statham keeps on pursuing it. He has all the potential but he needs a few more practice rounds as this performance was a little less weighty than the role required. The action sequences, shots and edit are everything you would expect from a typical Jason Statham movie. Considering the film was almost entirely filmed in the hours of the night and the film apparently even involved a few of the regular homeless men, the ambience and feel of the film was authentic and striking.
You will either leave Redemption having dozed off in the middle or you would have been intrigued the whole way through. Either way, this film is worth the watch.