(US/UK - 2013)
Written and directed by Steven Knight. Cast: Jason Statham, Agata Buzek, Benedict Wong, Vicky McClure, Christian Brassington, Victoria Bewick, Michelle Lee, Siobhan Hewlett, Ger Ryan. (R, 100 mins)
Lionsgate isn't giving the latest Jason Statham vehicle much of a US rollout, primarily relegating it to VOD status while putting it on just 19 screens nationwide. Though it has quite a few bits of traditional Statham ass-kicking, REDEMPTION (originally titled HUMMINGBIRD) is mostly a grim, downbeat character piece that marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Steven Knight, best known for scripting Stephen Frears' DIRTY PRETTY THINGS (2002) and David Cronenberg's EASTERN PROMISES (2007). DIRTY PRETTY THINGS focused on the exploitation of immigrants in a black-market organ-harvesting scheme. EASTERN PROMISES dealt with a midwife getting in over her head with the Russian mob after obtaining the diary of a drug-addicted, 14-year-old prostitute who died giving birth. The dark side of London is explored by Knight once more in REDEMPTION, which complements the two earlier films to form a loose trilogy of stories about those forgotten by society struggling to survive in the ugly, seedy underbelly of the city.