London rolled out the red carpet for one of its prodigal sons this week, as Jason Statham returned to the capital for the world premiere of Steven Knight’s gangland thriller, ‘Hummingbird’.
Statham plays a homeless war-vet trapped in London’s criminal underworld. Initially convinced he is beyond redemption, he later becomes an avenging angel, seeking his own version of justice.
Predominately famous for starring in frantically violent blockbusters, Statham found the film’s emotional depth intriguing: “Steven Knight is such a a great writer that he can provide a character that is a lot different to the ones I normally get presented with. It is obviously something I want to pursue and, whilst its not that I don’t enjoy the work I usually do, it’s always good to push yourself in different areas and this does that, for sure.”
‘Hummingbird’ is screenwriter Steven Knight’s directorial debut, and it forms the last in a trilogy of London-based crime capers following the success of ‘Dirty Pretty Things’ and ‘Eastern Promises’.
For the director, it was an opportunity to explore themes of resistance, strength and hubris. As Knight explains, Statham’s character embodies all three: “I think he’s Robin Hood and he’s trying to do the right thing and he’s trying to get justice, and I think people recognise that in a world where sometimes if you are weak, you can’t get justice. He is specifically using his strength to reassert the balance.”
The film’s title refers to the surveillance drones used by armed forces, and serves as a metaphor for our observation, and judgment, of Statham and the city of London.
‘Hummingbird‘ is out on general release from the 28th June.