Redemption was the directorial debut of its screenwriter Steven Knight, who's known for creating the series Peaky Blinders and penning the critically acclaimed Eastern Promises. Though it would be easy to pin the film's issues on his directing, critics wrote that the problems started with his script. Helen O'Hara of Empire wrote, “There are traces of brave and interesting ideas here, but ironically it's Knight's script that fails to tie them together and leaves the director and his cast struggling to pull a coherent story from the mess.”
AV Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky felt the film could have pushed its theme of “redemption” further, arguing that Joey and Cristina's motivations were lacking. He wrote, “Considering that its two protagonists are a gangster and a nun, the movie is disappointingly unwilling to deal with larger spiritual and moral questions.” With the film's title change from the U.K. to the U.S., it seems to have promised something it didn't exactly deliver.
Though this role was slightly different from his usual act, and Jason Statham did his best to show a new weight to his usual antihero, critics said that it didn't necessarily work. Deborah Ross wrote for The Spectator, “He is one of those actors who has a particular style, but that style does not include indicating any kind of interior life. So he can't bring us on side. Or make us feel for him.”
Jason Statham may have found more success in the Marvel Cinematic Universe role he turned down, but now that he's a part of the Fast & Furious franchise and working on the Hobbs and Shaw sequel, he'll keep doing what he does best.