Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Redemption (2013)

I'll admit I haven't enjoyed many Jason Statham movies. I've only seen a few though including Parker. Redemption was another one of his movies from last year, and it seems that many people missed out on it, perhaps because by this point Statham only sales to a certain crowd. Redemption was a whole lot different than I expected though. While Statham still kicks butt, he also takes his role a lot more seriously in this one, making for a powerful character, but sadly the plot doesn't do him or anyone else justice.

Summary: Joseph Smith is a special forces veteran who has went AWOL. Now he is homeless and a drunk who is tortured about the horrific things he has witnessed. After running from thugs him and his girlfriend are separated, and now he is out to find her. He begins living a life as another man and working for Mr. Choy who has Joseph as an enforcer, and he also befriends a nun who is trying to help him find his girlfriend, Isabelle, but when a girl's body turns up his search now turns into a search for her murderer to extract vengeance.

Acting: Jason Statham really puts his all into this role. He even went out to interview people who had served in the military and how it affected them to better grasp the mental ways that his character was affected. His acting is a whole step up from other roles I'd seen him in in this movie. Agata Buzek is Sister Cristina, the nun. Buzek also does a wonderful job with her role, and making the role of someone in her position very easy to relate to. Plus, her and Statham had the right amount of chemistry to give this movie a touch of romance. Now after these two all the other characters seem underdeveloped. I almost felt the whole plot of Jospeh trying to avenge his girlfriend was a waste as well. So much is going on with the characters that the murder is just a face who appears here and there, and the role as enforcer for a crime boss is just a passing story line.

Filming: This movie was primarily filmed at night. So being filmed at night it captures the wonderful night lights of London. It does make the movie very visually appealing. Outside of that I can't say there was anything too special about how the movie was captured. The filming looks sleek and cool with colors that pop, but otherwise not too stylized. Steven Knight does have a great eye for color though.

Plot: I do like aspects of the plot a lot. Really though the parts that are most compelling for me is anytime that Cristina and Joseph are on screen together. They have a lot of chemistry, but I like how gracefully the relationship is handled. Unlike a lot other movies that Statham has been in this one doesn't rely on showing women unclothed or sex scenes to give us chemistry between the characters. Instead the experiences they share and their needs to feel redeemed from their past is driving their future. A lot of the plot though seems so thrown in, and the run time doesn't allow for everything to have the depth that those two do. The aspects like the revenge of Isabelle, the killer, and the crime boss, Mr. Choy seem like passing moments for a more compelling story.

Redemption is one to check out, and at least Statham is finding roles still that show him as a better actor than just the fast paced actions that showcase his martial art skills. This was a lot less action and a lot more story than I was expecting, and it's handled with a lot of heart felt performances, that is only created by good acting, and not good writing development.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

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