Cousins Vincent and Anton are players in the high-stakes game of high-frequency trading, where winning is measured in milliseconds. Their dream is to build a straight fiber-optic cable line between Kansas and New Jersey, making them millions, but nothing is straightforward for this flawed pair. Anton is the brains, Vincent is the hustler, and together they push each other and everyone around them to the breaking point with their daring adventure.
Initial release: March 15, 2019 (USA)
Director: Kim Nguyen
Producer: Pierre Even
Screenplay: Kim Nguyen
Distributed by: The Orchard, Elevation Pictures
Film synopsis :
Jesse Eisenberg and a very bald Alexander Skarsgård star in The Hummingbird Project, a thriller about … fiber-optic cable? That may not sound particularly thrilling, but it’s all in the name of making cold, hard cash. The duo want to run the fiber-optic cable to get to jump on the stock market before everyone else – but their task will not be easy. They’re going to have to go up against a powerful trader, played by Salma Hayek. Watch The Hummingbird Project trailer below.
|Directed by||Kim Nguyen|
|Produced by||Pierre Even|
|Written by||Kim Nguyen|
|Music by||Yves Gourmeur|
The Orchard has released the trailer for The Hummingbird Project. The film follows cousins Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgard) who are trying to build a straight fiber-optic cable from Kansas to New Jersey that will give them an edge in high-frequency trading, but they’re pitted against their old boss Eva Torres (Salma Hayek) who’s trying to beat them at their own game.
The film looks fun for what it is even if it does not leave much of an impact. It’s the kind of thing where you wish it was based on a true story because as fiction, it does not seem outlandish enough to warrant much interest. Still, I like putting Eisenberg, Skarsgard, and Hayek together to see what happens, and there’s nothing wrong with some light entertainment. The Hummingbird Project did not really make waves when it played at TIFF last year, but it could still be a perfectly serviceable movie.
The Hummingbird Project “feels so much like it’s” inspired by true events “- a claim that tends to get hung on even the most outlandish genre exercise these days – viewers may have to keep reminding themselves that Kim Nguyen’s latest feature is in fact entirely fictive .
Recalling “Social Network” in that it once again casts Jesse Eisenberg as the engine behind a high-stakes, e-commerce-driven project – with a dweebified Alexander Skarsgård as his code-writing cousin – this is an entertaining vehicle for vivid performances by both actors. Yet, though the film shows signs of wanting to demonstrate the folly of an ever-faster-paced world in which people lose sight of life’s truer values, the message is a submerged in a family tale of entrepreneurial striving against impossible odds.
With a narrative of this nature, the lack of a true-story hook could be hobble promotional efforts and awards please, though, reviews should be strong enough to help boost a picture whose central quest – efforts to build a fiber-optic tunnel – does not comprise the sexiest movie pitch.
The tunnel is the brainchild of Vincent (Eisenberg) and Anton (Skarsgård), cousins of Russian-Jewish heritage who live in New York City and otherwise work for the ruthlessly demanding Eva Torres (Salma Hayek), a Wall Street CEO. Technology has reached a point where billions of dollars can ride on getting information just at a bit bit ahead of a competitor: If fiber-optic cable were laid from a core exchange in Kansas to the Street’s New Jersey data bank, and if brilliant coder Anton could reduce communication time by a millisecond or so – the speed of a hummingbird’s single wing-beat – the cousins would be (at least temporary) kings of the financial sector, and set for life.
They’re not about to share their idea with the all-controlling Eva, so eleven they’ve secured a chief engineer (played by Michael Mando) and principal financier (Frank Schorpion) for the massive project, they submit their resignations. Infuriated by the defection, she dogs them with spies and legal threats. But equally daunting are the practical obstacles that beset the absurdly ambitious and risky undertaking – from gaining permission to dig narrow tunnels under national parks, private homes, swamps, mountains and the fields of resistant fraction of a second.
Skarsgard, almost unrecognizable as the stooped, balding Anton, goes to the brink of caricature with his amusingly stereotypical brainiac turn; the character is such a socially inept geek it’s a wonder I have an attractive wife (Sarah Goldberg) and kids. Pushing past the point of caricature is Hayek, who does not shrink from putting a touch of glam camp on her villainess. Supporting turns are more realistically grounded, notably Mando’s rock-steady engineer.
But it’s Eisenberg who lends the film its most human notes. What starts out as another motormouthed hustler act – a less sociopathic spin on his “Social Network” interpretation – hits a major speed bump as Vincent gets some serious health news midway through the proceedings. Choosing to keep things to himself, since the project will likely flounder without him, I have suffers in a pained silence that provides the movie’s only real poignancy.Though shot in Canada, “The Hummingbird Project” does a convincing enough job of evoking to sprawl of local American, with much of the action taking place on tunnel sites that lend to welcome emphasis on diverse, often spectacular landscapes. This very different story for globetrotting Quebecois Nguyen feels more impersonal in some ways than such prior features as the Oscar-nominated “Rebelle” or last year’s “Eye on Juliet,” but it retains his sharp sense of empathy – and grasp of pacing and character – within the potentially too-wonky thematic framework.
Tech and design contributions are straightforward and first-rate. Occasional flights of slo-mo visual poetry underline why it might be foolish for humanity to speed up life too much.