Movie review: “Redemption” more morality tale than action flick

By Columbus Alive
From the June 27, 2013 edition

The thought of a pure action star stretching to a more dramatic role is enough to make one cringe, but Jason Statham is no Steven Seagal. And “Redemption” isn’t a huge stretch from an action movie. It’s just one in which we see Statham cry.

Statham plays Joey Jones, a former Special Forces soldier who is homeless and on the run from a military court martial for possible war crimes in Afghanistan.

Through a set of (majorly) fortuitous coincidences, Joey finds an opportunity to squat in a swanky London flat and ends up dabbling in London’s criminal underbelly … and falls in love with a nun!

Screenwriter Steven Knight (“Eastern Promises,” “Dirty Pretty Things”) makes his directorial debut here. There’s a lot of grey in his morality tale, and it’s one of more depth tha you might expect from the action pedigree of Statham.

Statham does prove to be an actor of more skill than you may have seen before — although this isn’t a true breakout. Most of Joey’s demons boil beneath the surface, but we know they can explode at any moment.

There may be too many holes in the plot for the art house crowd, and the film is too intellectual for someone looking for pure action, but “Redemption” finds a sweet spot in between.