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The Hummingbird Project


‘…a worthwhile, grown up fable about how greed trips up the unwary…’

Let’s have a quick show of hands; how many of you know the business end of industrial drilling equipment? Yes, the Hummingbird Project is all about the competitive world of fibre-optic tunnel cable-drilling. And not just tangentially; the entire film really is about fibre-optic tunnel cable-drilling, it’s literally featured in almost every scene. For once, the camera does not pan shyly away when the drilling starts; there are massive close-ups of drill apparatus, ideal for people who love tractors, diggers and any kind of high-end industrial machinery.

Frsh from a similar role as facebook big bad Mark Zuckerburg in The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg plays Vincent, a young trader who teams up with cousin Anton (Alexander Skarsgård) to build a fibre-optic line from NYC to Kansas, giving them an edge over other traders when it comes to the speed of the micro-transactions that they use. But their super-glam boss Eva Torres (Salma Hayek) wants to thwart them, a battle of wills results, complicated when Eisenberg’s character discovers that he needs urgent medical assistance for an unforeseen issue.

This is a fairly modern cyber-crime business drama, well-mounted and well-played; fortunately there’s little ‘dammit Marjorie’ dialogue and slamming fists on the table, but there is insight into how money is raised and spent in today’s world, and it’s not a pretty or reassuring picture. Eisenberg brings a little of his Social Network obsessiveness to playing Vincent, while the usually hunky Skarsgard is very much against type as hulking, bald Anton.

In fact, even if they’re far more aticulate characters, Vincent and Anton have a modern George and Lennie vibe that’s straight out of Of Mice and Men, and although Kim Nguyen’s film is a bit dry in places, it’s a worthwhile, grown up fable about how greed trips up the unwary. The amounts of money we read about every day, to pay for public events, to keep governments in office, to fund wars, are now so abstract and obscene we rarely think about them; these are sums far beyond the computation of ordinary people. But push comes to shove, and even if business is business, there’s a human cost involved and The Hummingbird Project brings the receipts in plentiful amounts.


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  1. There was an excellent highly readable Michael Lewis book about this very subject, how traders were winning the trading war by getting information faster. But it never looked like movie material unlike his Moneyball or The Blind Side. While I have your attention, you should read Michael Lewis, easily one of the best stylists on the planet.

  2. This sounds good, but honestly, I’m still so mad at Salma Hayek for subjecting me to her character in Magic Mike that she’s on my boycott list for at least another few months until the sting fades.

    • I hear you, and feel the same.

      More importantly, with Jess and Rory unexpectedly free, and ASP dine with Mrs Mazog, surely NOW is the time to bring the Gilmore Girls back? No Day in the Life nonsense…

  3. Do they shoot a lot of hummingbirds in this? Is this something Fraggle would watch for the photo opportunities?

    Personal;u, I’m a space lazer kind of guy. none of this digging through the dirt stuff for me…

  4. I would watch this as a Lego movie. They have little guys with hardhats and construction equipment.

    discovers needs urgent, slamming firsts on the table, read about ever day

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