The Hummingbird Project Review - Brilliant Story Fuels Amazing Character Driven Performances

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The Hummingbird Project, from The Orchard and Item 7, presents a story of a winner take all battle, from the stone canyons of the Wall Street jungle and the early days of the fiber optics fight for superiority.

Directed and written by Kim Nguyen, The Hummingbird Project stars Jessie Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard, Michael Mando, Selma Hayek and Frank Schorpion.

The film begins with two men, Vincent Zaleski, played by Jessie Eisenberg, and Bryan Taylor, played by Frank Schorpion, sitting on a park bench on the Brooklyn esplanade overlooking Manhattan’s skyline, gleaming glass monuments surrounding the canyons of Wall street, the jungle where only the strong and often cunning, survive.


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Today, Vincent is pitching Bryan on investing millions into a plan that would shave off a millisecond in the current trading algorithm and with it earn billions. Wall Street is built on high frequency trading where millions are made and measured in milliseconds and trimming even one, tiny, barely noticeable millisecond off the model and a new king of the jungle is crowned.

Vincent, and his cousin, Anton Zaleski, played by Alexander Skarsgard, work on Wall Street for a firm run by a wicked witch, Eva Torres, played by Selma Hyack. She pays very well and promises more. She promises that she will care for her employees, their families, and even hire freeloading unqualified third cousins just to keep brilliance happy. She is only capable of caring for her profits. She the CEO of a Wall Street trading house.

The two cousins have decided they are ready to live the dream. The crazy, David and Goliath, unbelievable dream and build a straight line of fiber optic cable from the Kansas City Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange and transfer data in under 17 seconds.

So, when the funding comes in and is secure, they do what all daring entrepreneurs do when life presents the road less traveled, they quit. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with Eva Torres who recognizes Anton’s brilliance and promises wrath the like of which he has never seen.

They pick up a third partner, Mark Vega, played by Michael Mando, who handles logistics and crews. What he lacks in tact he makes up in delivery and street smarts.


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With the team in place, Vincent and Mark head to Kansas to the house directly across the street from the stock exchange and explain to the very skeptical homeowner that they want to buy a 12-inch slice of his land and bury a cable six foot under the ground.

Mark strikes out and Vincent steps up and before you know it the homeowner is asking him for the contract and 90,000 contracts and homeowners later the far-reaching and expensive dream of building a fiber optic cable is nearing completion.

With truth stranger than fiction, and The Hummingbird Project is a true story, we’re stuck somewhere in on I-80, in a backwoods town in Pennsylvania when Vincent, so deep into building his future, the stress of wearing so many hats, handling the money, 1200 miles of crews, logistics and a vindictive former employer is actively making him sick or so he thinks.

Anton, who is also stressed over having to devise an algorithm that shaves one millisecond, the exact speed of one complete flap of a hummingbird’s wing, off the program he has built, is also freaking out and seeing trouble in the shadows.

Soon they are down to one trouble spot, the Appalachian Mountains, federal land and the feds aren’t giving permission or selling one inch. With trouble on all sides, Vincent is determined to find a way to bore a hole through the mountain.


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A brilliantly told story, The Hummingbird Project depicts life in the fast lane. The realities of Wall Street, where 15million is transferred in 15 seconds, the real world, not the “greed is good” world, but the greed kills world.

While many will assume the film is bloated with clichés for creative license, it is not, what you see is reality. Scenes where the entire bull pen of computer tech junkies lose control over ten seconds, which results in unheard of financial losses, happens. Putting the dream, and with it the astronomical profits, above all, an all-in, fully committed dedication is everyday life.

The cast Jessie Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard, who is unrecognizable as Anton, Michael Mando and Selma Hayek become these personas and pull the audience into this manic, wild, ride forcing us to invest our emotions.


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Eisenberg is as high strung as a hummingbird, a Selma Hyack, vicious and vindictive as promised. Wrath coupled with unlimited reach, contacts and money is dangerous. When she squeezes grown men buckle.

A shocking story that is extremely well written, and is a reminder of what desire, which can reward with untold wealth or destroy leaving unrecognizable ruins in its place, can do to a person. The cast embraces these characters and the audience is the recipient of these surprising, outrageous, over the top and genuine performances.

The Hummingbird Project opens March 15, 2019. So very good. See it.

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