The Hummingbird Project Review: Eisenberg and Skarsgard shine in dark dramedy

With a dark wit and outstanding performances, The Hummingbird Project is a true battle of David and Goliath—in the world of financial trading.

The film follows cousins Vincent (Jessie Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgard) as they begin to compete against their old boss (Salma Hayek) in the world of high-frequency trade. With Anton being the brains of their operation and Vincent being the hustler, the two work with a contractor (Michael Mando) to try to build a straight fiber-optic cable to make millions of dollars. However, things become harder as both personal strains and competitors try to take them, but the two persist in their goals to make a new line that could change the financial trading game for good.

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Eisenberg (left) brings a strong, fast-talking energy to the film, while Skarsgard (right) brings the film’s subtle intellectual side. PHOTO: Yahoo Finance

Now, while this kind of topic doesn’t sound like the most intriguing or riveting thing at first, but the quick, snappy dialogue and dark wit that The Hummingbird Project has makes it an incredibly engaging watch. It throws enough information about the nuts and bolts of financial trading and the importance of their goal without it going over anyone’s head or feeling like it’s full of jargon. Honestly, the film has a racing feel to it that builds in excitement as the cousins compete against Hayek’s Eva Torres.

Eisenberg and Skarsgard utilize the more cynically dark comedy that comes from writer/director Kim Nguyen to create a fun and energetic atmosphere around their characters. Eisenberg channels the great line delivery he’s known for and gives a confident performance that showcases Vincent’s determination and care. Skarsgard puts in an equally excellent performance and captures Anton’s more reserved personality traits and narcissistic attitudes towards other people. Together the two are a dynamic duo that, as Vincent says, desires to be nuance David taking down every Goliath in their way, including Torres whose dominant personality is perfectly highlighted through Hayek’s performance.

I will say that I did desire for more about their relationship because it did come off as odd that these two would work together so well considering their polar opposite personalities. Anton is incredibly self-reliant and tends to consider other people to be idiots, except for a select few people. While they are family, their personalities don’t collide often and there’s never much time given to understand why their relationship is so good.

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The film has some intense moments, especially as Vincent’s looming health problem make a big impact in the film’s final act. PHOTO: Vulture

While The Hummingbird Project mostly divulges into the characters’ desire to be financially wealthy, it actually brings in more themes about morality by the film’s conclusion. Vincent and Anton’s more rigid sense of the world slowly dissolves throughout their film once Vincent’s health issues come into play and Anton begins to question whether everyone is being considered in their money-making formula. It’s a nice character arc for them and works really well with a saying that comes from Mando’s Mark that’s something along the lines of the end-goal not always being more important than the journey it takes to get there. It’s a surprisingly nice theme to have and I think it works really well for Vincent and Anton’s character arcs.

The Hummingbird Project is delightful cynicism and dark humor at its finest with standout performances from Eisenberg and Skarsgard. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable watch that utilizes all of its best elements and presents them in a constantly entertaining fashion.

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Watch the Trailer Here:

 

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