Redemption is a different sort of Jason Statham thriller, more subdued in its tone, and keen on its dramatic element. With its action-heavy cast but its gloomy, downbeat script, it never feels right. Instead of a revenge or thoughtful action film, we get something that never adds up to anything substantial, or anything especially compelling. It's a literal misfire of a film.
The plot finds Statham as an ex-Special Forces solider (surprise) returning to his home city of London as a distraught man. We find out this trauma relates to something in his past (surprise), with him eventually channeling this repression of emotion to aid a criminal underworld (surprise). In his 'journey', he comes to meet a beautiful nun, who inspires him to change his ways (surprise). While this is all very clichéd, the film takes it especially seriously, and does so with a slow pace and a heavy tone. The biggest problem is that the film keeps wanting to set itself up for a big action finale, and a break-out arc for Statham, yet it never happens. The entire film feels like build-up for something that doesn't happen. Instead, we seemingly get a more dramatic piece of work, but without any originality, and without any real impact.
The biggest sin of Redemption for Statham fans is that Redemption is simply boring. There are some action scenes, to be sure, but they are too far and between dramatic scenes that never work, set against a world that never feels quite real. The paranoia the film sets to achieve, with Statham's character believing he's being watched, falls flat, and does so with poor execution.
Not your typical Statham film, and that's not a good thing.