You wouldn’t typically think watching two cousins race against time to lay a thin fibre-optic line between Kansas and New York would be an entertaining watch… Weirdly, it kinda was. Obviously, there’s a lot more going on in The Hummingbird Project than just some guys digging a cable but that is a big part of it.
Directed by Kim Nguyen (Eye on Juliet, War Witch), The Hummingbird Project exposes the ruthless and cutthroat world within Wall Street where milliseconds are the difference between winning and losing. The film follows Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and his cousin Anton (Alexander Skarsgard) through the struggles they face while trying to pull one over on their old boss Eva Torres (Salma Hayek).
The Hummingbird Project opens with Jesse Eisenberg doing his normal quirky thing, all manic but focused energy, explaining his “dream” to build a straight line of cable connecting New York and Kansas. All of this to gain a milliseconds edge on everyone else in Wall Street. From there you follow the struggles that Vincent and his cousin face while trying to accomplish the whole project. This film feels like it should have a big “inspired by true events” slapped on it but, to my surprise, this movie is fiction. To me, it felt very human and also like it could very well have happened in real life.
Vincent and Anton not only face problems in the logistics of their project but also with personal health, personal relationships as well as their old boss spying on them and at one point sending the police after them. Eva is very much not happy with them leaving her employment and trying to make it big without her, I guess she would be considered the “villain” in this. Though really, she’s just wanting to keep her business competitive with everyone else. Yes, she is a tad vindictive about it all and I didn’t really like her all that much as a character but I kind of get it.
Both performances by Eisenberg and Skarsgard are amazing. Both characters have their quirks, but you are always rooting for them throughout the entire runtime. I’ll be honest Anton was my fav, he was just adorable and nerdy. Though it was very odd seeing Alexander Skarsgard balding with a dad-bod, I’m used to seeing him looking hella fine in True Blood. Watching Anton get excited explaining coding and his little celebration dance after having a breakthrough with his code is just all too cute.
Another enjoyable part of The Hummingbird Project was the sprinkling of amazing scenic shots in between the digging of the fibre-optic cable. This is possibly slipped in as a reminder of all the resources that the financial world uses. In the movie, Vincent was flying massive machinery for digging into the mountains of a national park via a very big and very expensive helicopter. When you think about it, it all seems like a waste of resources to build a cable that will be a millisecond faster than their competition, make them a lot of money quickly and then they’ll likely be overtaken by someone else in this world of ever-changing technology.
Overall, I did enjoy this film, though I felt the ending left me wanting a bit more. I understand why it ended the way it did (don’t worry I won’t spoil it), in the end, it was very human and relatable in a way you wouldn’t expect a movie revolving around Wall Street dealings would be. Some parts of it did feel a bit dragged out at times but I didn’t once look at my watch to see how long it had left. Honestly, The Hummingbird Project is an alright experience, I’d recommend watching it if you have the free time.