very weak, unfortunately
The tone of this movie is interesting -- the stakes are both dramatic and high, but it's balanced with a lot of fun, tongue and cheek dialogue.
The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
Most of us watch Jason Statham movies because they are formulaic action flicks. REDEMPTION attempts to go beyond that, showcasing more of our protagonist's emotions than just calmness and stoicism, with the occasional outburst of physical violence. While there is nothing wrong with Statham's portrayal of a hard drinking, homeless ex-soldier with little to live for, the plot and script that surround him try to pull the audience in too many directions.First, Statham's character becomes a squatter in a posh London apartment, then he goes to work as muscle for Asian gangsters, then has a complicated and morally questionable relationship with a nun, all while trying to sober up, hunt down a man who is violent with prostitutes, and leave the daughter he never sees with a more favorable impression of him.The other peripheral parts of the movie add to the already long list of distractions - only lightly touching on human trafficking, and the occasional Orwellian drone shots from high above London. Statham needs a better script as an opportunity to showcase a greater range of emotions as an actor.
Evidently, this strange movie was Jason Statham's attempt to break out of his Transporter image and prove he can really, really act. Unfortunately, he is abandoned by a script that feels simultaneously plot less and over-plotted. There are too many story lines occurring to fully develop a character study of a man in mortal emotional meltdown. Statham wears fifty shades of his trademark stubble as he pivots between bum, street saint, seducer of nuns, muscle for the Chinatown gangsters, dishwasher, dead-beat dad, and Mercedes driver. You just assumed about a half hour into this stew of personas that he'd end up driving a fancy car. He does. He keeps his clothes on for most of the movie, which is the real surprise here.The various threads running through a ninety-minute running time (that feels like 2+ hours) aren't developed enough for you to care about anyone. His wife? Nope. His daughter (seen for less than a minute)? Nope. The nun who's having a crisis of faith and ends up sleeping with Jason? Nope. His cardboard box girlfriend? Nope. The real villain who killed the girlfriend? Nope. The mother superior who wants that stack of Euros Statham gave his nunfriend? Nope. The fish that Statham cuts the head off of? Nope.It's painful to watch Statham attempt to break out of an image that's been so successfully constructed for him. That's a backhanded compliment. He does unshaven action muscle so well that it's nearly impossible to to accept him any other way. He has some flair for comedy when allowed, and can do brooding intensity in his sleep, but this movie merely suggests he just might possess other acting chops. For every sensitive moment, he knocks the hell out of someone. We're constantly reminded of the Transporter, in both appearance and actions. His last vodka fueled soliloquy to his nunfriend is so mush-mouthed it's difficult to understand. And...he almost cries. Almost. One wonders what the discussion about that sounded like between the director and Mr. Whiskers. It was edgy enough to have the neighbors of the apartment he was squatting in think he was gay. There! Jason has dimension! The ending is conveniently non-satisfactory. By the time it's all over you don't much care. Four stars for Statham trying something different, but unless he shaves and figures out how to not beat the crap out of others every few minutes, he'll forever be trapped in the the persona he created.
Great Looking Drama with a Goodly Amount of Action Mixed in with a Message and a bit of Romance. Jason Statham Stretches His Street Cred as a Kick-Asser in this Noble Attempt at Elevating His Range Beyond the Standard Stath Stuff.Agata Buzek Shines as a Nun, that Returning Special Forces Joey Smith/Jones Admires, and is Especially Helpful and a Compelling Character in Her Own Right, Along Side the Brooding Soldier Suffering Greatly from the War Experience in the Middle East. She is the Equilibrium Needed for His Return to a Normal Life as He Tries to Connect with His Estranged Daughter and Survive in the Challenging World On the Streets.This is an Exceptional Film and is Entertainingly Different in the Confines of Statham's Usual Genre. It's Got a Lot of Heart and the Ending is a Surprising Non Cop-Out. Definitely Worth a Watch for Fans of the Star to See if He can Pull this Off (He does), and Moviegoers who Stay Away from Crime and Action Movies that They Usually Find Routine, will Most Likely See it as Refreshing.
Many films I see these days are too close to being on the level of a boiling excrement experiment to even be called movies at all. This was a departure from that-it was a decent film. Good originality shines through making it a watchable deal without making you feel like your being exposed to something harmful to your health. Jason Statham films tend to be not bad-with the exception of Crank: High Voltage which I thought was a bad case of stoned screen writers. Not a lot to say about this one other than it was a good film-I don't want to give away the plot line as that would spoil it. The other day I was looking at some of the budgets for big films in general these days-many big films cost something like 100 million to make and then maybe make a return of 120 million. They are also generally films I don't like. This movie looks like it had a decent budget-but nothing over the top like many others-where filmmaking becomes a case of elitism wins the day-too bad there are not more films with 1-5 million dollar budgets that actually utilize good scripts and make money well above what they cost to make due to the fact they are intelligently executed as opposed to something that comes off like it was done by a rhesus monkey. Way too many films these days make a marginal return on a gargantuan investment. Some big budget films don't even make back their creation costs at the box office-but they keep making them anyway. It's not the way to go. See this film-you will probably like it.