Rob Reviews "The Hummingbird Project"
One millisecond is the amount of time that it takes for a hummingbird to flap its wings one time. It can also mean the difference between hundreds of thousands of dollars in the stock market industry, and with that business already being one of the most cut-throat in the world, the competition to get their information faster gets crazier and crazier. (And you think YOU get upset when your Internet connection slows down or gets throttled by your provider.) Writer/director Kim Nguyen takes a shot at trying to make all of this make sense in his latest film “The Hummingbird Project”.
Jesse Eisenberg plays Vincent Zaleski, who works for a stock trading firm along with his cousin, Anton (Alexander Skarsgard). Anton is a different level of genius, and his ideas have made the firm one of the best in the world, headed by Eva Torres (Salma Hayek). When Vincent gets backing from tycoon Bryan Taylor (Frank Schorpion), he and Anton quit their jobs to build a fiber pipeline from the Kansas City Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange in order to be the fastest in the world and then sell it to the highest bidders. Torres does not take this well, and does everything she can to not only sabotage them but undertake an idea of her own to beat them at their own game.
Be prepared going into this thing: this is VERY tech heavy. So much so to the point that it actually weighed down the film itself for me. Luckily, this cast is so strong that it picks up the slack to a certain point. Hayek gets to play the fun evil that I think fits her SO well without turning into satire or parody, while Skarsgard absolutely shines as the man whose family loyalty works to a fault while wanting to make his own mark on the world. Eisenberg (who memorized the entire script prior to production beginning) stays in the pocket that he knows so well as the just off-base idea man who just wants to keep all of the proverbial plates spinning with Michael Mando rounding out the cast as the project foreman who balances Eisenberg’s Vincent very well.
I cannot say that this is a bad film, but I also cannot say that I would recommend it to a wide audience. I know more than a handful of people that would appreciate it, but again it is because they are the type of people that would keep up with all of the minutiae of the magnitude of what the characters are working on. I was a bit surprised to see that this is a fictional tale given its grittiness, but it is both written and executed well. I will be interested to see how “The Hummingbird Project” is received both theatrically and beyond, and could find itself with a niche audience that will keep it going for at least a few years. Or when the next and even faster connection comes along.