Action Movie Fanatix Review: Redemption

Redemption banner

All Roads Don’t Lead To Salvation

Starring: Jason Statham, Agata Buzek, Vicky McClure

Director: Steven Knight

2013  |  100 Minutes  |  Rated R

“You’ve got a knife.  How bout a spoon?” – Joseph Smith

The trailers for Redemption or Hummingbird made it very clear that this was not your average Jason Statham movie.  I still had no clue what to expect from it when I plugged the DVD into my player for the first time.

Joseph Smith (Jason Statham), an Afghanistan war veteran, is haunted by the memories of the past.  He takes on an assumed identity and befriends a nun but risks everything to find the man that killed his girlfriend.

This is one of the rare occasions that the trailers gave me the right idea about a movie… even though I didn’t know what idea I should even have.  Redemption is NOT a typical Jason Statham movie.

It’s really not an action movie at all even though there is a fair amount of brutal fighting.  As stupid and cliché as this sounds, the movie is truly a story of redemption.  The story takes us from Joey being at the lowest of lows to a place where he finds a sense of redemption, albeit a slightly twisted version of redemption.

Joseph Smith, or Joey Jones as calls himself for most of the movie, is still a typical badass Jason Statham character in that he can surely kick some ass but he is a haunted shell of a man.  I would never actually call someone like this a badass other than when referring to his fighting abilities.  He’s constantly going against what he knows is right simply to find one bad man.  You can feel his heartbreak in doing it but he pushes forward.  This is far and away Statham’s best acting performance I have ever seen.  I would actually like to see him able to show his acting chops a little more often… before kicking all kinds of ass.

The other main character is Cristina, the nun, played by Agata Buzek.  She, also, puts forth a fantastic performance.  She also plays a conflicted character who is intrigued by the mysterious Crazy Joey.

The fights are pretty sweet and quite brutal despite not being gory.  The story is very good as well but the movie really isn’t fun.  It’s interesting and you want to see the characters come out well on the other side of this but it’s a dark and gritty affair all the way through.  Completely devoid of cheer, save for a few brief moments shared between Joey and Cristina.

Redemption is similar, in a way, to Blitz.  The stories are well told and acted.  Redemption, though, is definitely the superior movie in every way shape and form.  It left me with a bit of a heavy feeling on my chest that I couldn’t shake and I just don’t care to watch it ever again.

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