Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard, and Salma Hayek have all played roles where they have egos. Eisenberg had one in “The Social Network” (2010), Skarsgard had one in “Straw Dogs” (2011), and Salma Hayek has had many more egotistical roles. In “The Hummingbird Project” all of them have an evil plan to get what they want through technology, but Eisenberg and Skarsgard are on the same side and Hayek is the antagonist. Director and writer, Kim Nguyen, arranges “The Hummingbird Project” so that its audience has an idea of which responsibility each character plays in the conflict of the movie. The film is a funny, clever, and dark story about the negatives of the digital world we live in. The negative chemistry between the characters shows how business in the digital world is all about profit and performance, and the risks people take to make their businesses or technologies more enthralling to its consumers. “The Hummingbird Project” will hold a viewer’s attention if they are a technology connoisseur.
The film is about two cousins named Vincent Zaleski and Anton Zaleski (Eisenberg and Skarsgard). They are high-frequency traders that decide to quit their jobs and prove they are better than their former boss, Eva Torres (Hayek). They want to prove their point to her by attempting to earn millions of dollars through a fiber-optic cable deal. Vincent is the business man in charge of the money and the locations for cables, and Anton is the computer geek who knows all kinds of coding and hacking skills. Vincent wants Anton to be able to make the internet one millisecond faster than most other businesses to establish their goal and get more traffic. The problem that arises is when Eva tries to stop them. As Vincent and Anton arrange for their teams to build the cell towers in the mountains of the east coast, Eva starts buying the land they intended to use and filing lawsuits to impede their progress. The film turns into a war in terms of money, politics, taxes, real estate, and computers. “The Hummingbird Project” is “The Social Network” meets “Wall Street” (1987).
Even though I did enjoy the “The Hummingbird Project” it was a predictable performance for Eisenberg. He was Mark Zuckerberg all over again! This time he owned land not a new website. His acting seemed the same because his character does not admit fault or agree to his penalties. In “The Social Network” he did not admit to those elements either. In “The Hummingbird Project” he is back to playing the person who believes he is a legend, but at the same time, he is socially awkward and very opinionated.
In terms of Skarsgard’s performance, I felt this role was different for him in a positive way. In a variety of his films he is either the antagonist, or the man who is the negative authoritative figure, but not in “The Hummingbird Project.” In this film, he had on the nerd glasses, was on the shy side, and would let claustrophobic elements stress him out to the extreme. He played the role quite well and I can see him playing characters that are intelligent. This is one he will be remembered for.
Hayek is decent in this movie and I did enjoy seeing her play a superior in a technological business. She has the intelligence, the scary presence, and the sharp dialogue gives viewers watching “The Hummingbird Project” a bumpy ride. The last film I remember where Hayek played a superior was “Savages” (2012). In “Savages” Hayek was the superior of a criminal organization, and in this one she is the superior of a computer business. She always plays superiors who wants negative results for those who she feels are her enemies.
“The Hummingbird” project is not amazing, but it is done properly and is not all that predictable. There are many elements to pay attention to in regards towards what the Zaleski’s are trying to accomplish. The film is setup in a step-by-step process that helps its audience to understand what the Zaleski’s go through to make their cable projects successful. There are obstacles that make the project a challenge, but some get surpassed, and some do not. The film is a hit or miss, but I found it worth the time. For my rating, I give “The Hummingbird Project” three stars.