Film review: The Hummingbird Project

Alexander Skarsgård and Jesse Eisenberg take tech to new places in Canadian drama.

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Elevation Pictures
It’d be interesting to figure out exactly how the diminutive and unimposing Jesse Eisenberg has crafted a career out of playing total pricks: All the way back to 2005’s The Squid and the Whale, his Walt felt confident enough to claim ownership of Who song as his own, to say nothing of Mark Zuckerberg and Lex Luthor.

Add another one to the pile in The Hummingbird Project, a curious tech drama from Canadian director Kim Ngyuen. Eisenberg plays Vincent Zaleski, who with his genius cousin Anton (Alexander Skarsgård in a preposterous bald cap) plans to run a four-inch fibreoptic cable from Kansas to Wall Street which will allow traders to get the necessary information in 16 milliseconds (one flap of a hummingbird’s wing) which of course turns into more money. The line must be straight, however, which requires lots of complicated digs through mountains, under bodies of water and protected park lands. Getting in their way while rocking an incredible black-and-grey hairdo is Salma Hayek, their former boss, who’s out to ruin them (and fairly).

Eisenberg does his usual, but Skarsgård gets a lot of notes to play with Anton, whose quiet genius is offset by great bursts of energy in the form of screaming or running (and one unfortunate dance scene). Anton is in it for the science; Vincent just wants to stick it to various forms of authority. If you’re into the stock market, Moneyball-style numbers-spouting or large-scale construction projects, The Hummingbird Project may be for you.

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