BLITZ

7 out of 10

Released: 20 May 2011

Director: Elliott Lester

Cast:  Jason Statham, Aiden Gillen, Paddy Considine, Zawe Ashton, Luke Evans, Ned Dennehy, Joe Dempsie with Mark Rylance and David Morrissey

Writer: Nathan Parker

Trailer: BLITZ

You may interpret this as faint praise when I say that this is the best Jason Statham (REVOLVER) vehicle yet but I am a great fan of his.  He is one of our greatest exports to Hollywood in years.  He has succeeded where Craig Fairbrass (WHITE NOISE 2), Gary Daniels (THE EXPENDABLES), Ray Park (ECKS VS SEVER – BALLISTIC) and even Lewis Collins (THE PROFESSIONALS – TV) have crashed and burnt.  He’s a true blue British action hero.  When he’s called upon he can actually act as well. Blitz is a prime example of The Stath on top form.  The sad thing is for every Blitz there’s three The Killer Elites.  He can be a rotten actor when he’s keeping bad company or even going solo. Blitz is also a sign that he hasn’t turned his back on the British film industry.  Along with this and The Bank Job and the Australian co-production The Killer Elite, he’s definitely not sold up and moved out to LA.

Onto the film in question. Jason Statham plays a maverick cop called Brandt who is on the trail of a cop killer, played by Aiden Gillen (THE WIRE – TV). Said maniac has no qualms in executing beat bobbies in broad daylight in front of a street full of witnesses.  This leads to lots of people getting their faces bashed in by our baldy crusader and also weaves in a strange subplot involving a female junky cop.  The cast is bulked out with some of the country’s top performers from both stage and film.  Paddy Considine (SUBMARINE) plays Brandt’s gay police partner, a bit of a problem for our homophobic hero that gives way to some un-pc old school humour.  Stage actor Mark Rylance (ANGELS AND INSECTS) pops up in a rare screen role as Brandt’s doomed washed up boss.  I wish this actor was in more films because as his long running role in West End hit Jerusalem proved he’s one of the nation’s best.  The plot zips along at a nice pace and there are some nice riffs on the usual police stereotypes.  The only downside to this cop thriller is that there are so many shows like this on British television and there can be broad comparisons to that superior soap opera The Bill.  The actors may be more expensive and the blood letting a little more visceral but this is essentially a cinema length episode of The Bill.  No bad thing I suppose.  It highlights Jason Statham‘s ability to act but also draws your attention to the fact that he must be slumming it when it comes to his more regular fare like The Mechanic (2011) or Safe.  

So in short, its not a life changer but its a very solid piece of entertainment. A good cop thriller you wouldn’t necessarily have gone out of your way to see at the cinema because it resembles a lot of reasonably good TV shows.  It’s a better acting showcase than his old fashioned jape The Bank Job from a few years back.  A lot of fun to be had and the villain is little bit more unhinged than the average.  Seeing executions on Orpington High Street is certainly a twisted novelty.

7 out of 10 – The best Statham vehicle so far.  This doesn’t include ensembles like Snatch, The Expendables etc…. Going BALDLY wear no action hero has gone before….Orpington High Street.

READ JOE PESCI II’s miffed review below..>!

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

  • Jason Statham: Meg, Fast and Furious 8, The Mechanic 2, Spy (2015), Wild Card, Fast and Furious 7, The Expendables 3, Heat (2013), Homefront, Hummingbird, Parker, The Expendables 2, Safe, Gnomeo and Juliet (voice), The Killer Elite, The Mechanic, The Expendables, 13 (2010), Crank 2, Transporter 3, Death Race (2008), The Bank Job, War, Crank, The Pink Panther (2006), In The Name Of The King, Transporter 2, Revolver, Cellular, The Italian Job (2003), Mean Machine, The One, Ghost Of Mars, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Aiden Gillen: Pickups, King Arthur – Legend of the Sword, Game Of Thrones (TV), Sing Street, You’re Ugly Too, Still, Maze Runner 2, Calvary, Mister John,  The Dark Knight Rises, Shadow Dancer, Treacle Jr, Wake Wood, Twelve Rounds, The Wire (TV), Shanghai Knights, My Kingdom, The Low Down, Queer As Folk (TV), Mojo, Some Mother’s Son, Circle Of Friends
  • Paddy Considine: Journeyman, The Girl With All The Gifts, Peaky Blinders (TV),  Macbeth (2015)Miss You Already, Child 44, Pride (2014), Honour, The Double (2014)The World’s EndNow Is Good, Tyrannosaur (dir), Submarine, Le Donk and Scorasayzee, The Bourne Ultimatum, Hot Fuzz, Stoned, Cinderella Man, My Summer Of Love, Dead Man’s Shoes, In America, 24 Hour Party People, The Martins, Born Romatic, Last Resort, A Room For Romeo Brass
  • Luke Evans: 10×10, Fast & Furious 8, Beauty & The Beast (2017), The Girl On The Train,  High-Rise, Flutter, The Hobbit- The Battle of the Five Armies, Dracula- Untold, The Hobbit – The Desolation Of Smaug, Fast And Furious 6, Ashes, No One Lives, Flutter, The Raven, Immortals, The Three Musketeers (2011), Tamara Drewe, Clash Of The Titans (2010), Sex & Drugs & Rock-n-Roll
  • Zawe Ashton: Weekender, Dreams of a Life
  • Ned Dennehy: Dickensian (TV), Banished (TV), Peaky Blinders (TV), Child 44, Roadkill (2015)The Woman In Black 2, Downhill, Scintilla, Grabbers, Storage 24Tyrannosaur, The Eagle, The Escapist
  • Joe Dempsie: Burn Burn Burn, This Is England ’90 (TV), Monsters 2, Game of Thrones (TV), The Fades (TV), This Is England ’86 (TV), The Damned United, Skins (TV)
  • Mark Rylance: Ready Player One, Dunkirk, The BFG, Bridge of Spies, Bing (voice)(TV), Wolf Hall (TV), The Gunman, Anonymous, The Other Boleyn Girl, Intimacy, Angels & Insects, Prospero’s Books
  • David Morrissey: The Ones Below, The Walking Dead (TV), Welcome To The PunchNowhere Boy,  Centurion, Is Anybody There?, The Reaping, The Other Boleyn Girl, Derailed, Basic Instinct 2, Hilary & Jackie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Born Romantic, Some Voices, Fanny & Elvis, Waterland, Drowning By Numbers
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One thought on “BLITZ

  1. Joe Pesci II’s not so impressed review with MY favourite Jason Statham film….

    BLITZ

    BLITZ! What does that word suggest to you? A lightning attack by evil Nazis? War? Surprise? Death? A Lionel Bart musical? The decision to finally do the spring cleaning after three years of procrastination?

    This BLITZ is none of these. It is a surprisingly pedestrian police thriller starring Jason Statham as a tough maverick cop who doesn’t play by the rules. ‘Don’t they all?’ I hear you say, which may be true, but in an interesting twist, this one doesn’t seem to have any personal demons to fight, though he does have an irritating habit of stealing other people’s food. And delivering his own unique brand of brutal justice to the scum of the earth. (He’s the sort of bloke who’d castrate litterbugs.) But it’s the stealing food that got on my nerves. I tell you, if Jason Statham came round here and tried to nick some food off me, I’d probably let him, but I’d be really irritated and write a stern letter to his superior about it. Oh yes.

    Meanwhile in BLITZ, someone is going around murdering coppers. Who? And why? Well, it’s Aden Gillen (that’s not a spoiler), that fascinating actor who is a law unto himself, his performances impervious to the whims of directors and the necessities of the script. Gillen is unpredictable, exciting, frequently dreadful, but always his own man. Why Aden Gillen is going around killing police officers is a bit unclear – something to do with Jason Statham force-feeding him a snooker ball I think (that’s not a euphemism). And there’s only one man who can stop him – the no-nonsense straight-talking chip-nicking cop who arguably started it in the first place: Bran, played by a moderately embarrassed looking Statham. Actually there’s also one other man who can help him with that: Paddy Considine. Character trait: gay. So all is set for a buddy movie with a twist, but apart from approximately two homophobic jokes, that idea quickly peters out. There is a twist elsewhere in BLITZ: at some point they must have realised that the running time was going to be pitifully short, so they seem to have shoehorned a completely different film in as a subplot. Whilst Statham and Considine are ambling around chasing after Gillen, we find Zawe Ashton playing an ex-undercover narcotics cop with a drug problem who needs to try to help a dodgy teen get back on the straight and narrow. Ashton is very good, but it feels as if it’s a pilot episode for a not very good show on Channel 4.

    Meanwhile Gillen is gleefully trying to work his way through as much of the Met as he can, but the film’s leaden pace means he takes an awfully long time over it and only manages about three murders, which is a bit rubbish really. Fortunately he’s not too bothered about his tardy work rate as he’s crazy and unemployed, which we can work out as he likes watching quiz shows after bashing police brains out.

    All the usual suspects are present: greedy grasses, alcoholic policemen, a tough maverick cop who doesn’t bother with paperwork, a crazy killer. Everything, in fact, that you need for a perfectly average hour of telly, which is what BLITZ is. But for goodness’ sake, this is meant to be a movie. With Jason ‘the Stathe’ Statham in it! And it’s called BLITZ! But the film is not blitzy in the least. And, as far as I can tell, it isn’t very Stathamish. I’m no fan, but even I was disappointed. A change of pace may have been a good idea for his career, but making what should be a fast paced police thriller is a strange way to go.

    The plot manages to be both dismally obvious and quite confusing (and I still don’t understand how the bad guy is able to walk out of the police station with the money he stole off someone he’d murdered but never mind). And whenever the thing looks like it’s just going to roll over and go to sleep, Statham will come along and either (a) hit someone, or (b) steal their sandwich. Honestly, trying to work out at what point he’s going to grab the grub is the only way to keep awake through this cinematic sleeping pill.

    As for the actors, Statham looks bored. So does Considine. Lower down the ranks David Morrissey continues with his bewildering choice of poor roles as an unprincipled journalist (no cliché ignored in this film). Mark Rylance chews a bit of scenery as Statham’s bereaved boss, but at least he goes down fighting. Only Zawe Ashton seems to be trying, and Aiden Gillen just does whatever he feels like doing.

    BLITZ is dreary and slow, and unblitzy. The storyline has huge potential, after all this is a film where a psycho cop-killer is hunted by a particularly intriguing odd couple pairing of a by the book gay policeman and a hard as nails sarnie-snatching maverick. Alas, someone decided that there should be no sexual frisson between Considine and Statham (how good would that have been?), and nor should there be any jokes. And the cop killing turned out to be quite dull as well. BLITZ turns out to be a horribly wasted opportunity. It could have redefined the genre, it could have been fun, it could have made Jason Statham an icon of gay cinema (if he isn’t already). Instead it just reminds us how good The Bill used to be.

    The only real surprise I experienced was on reading the words ‘based on the novel by’ at the end. Then I discovered the novelist in question also wrote LONDON BOULEVARD and all became clear. Still, it’s pioneering in a way, and maybe a sequel might show Jason Statham’s character happily in a civil partnership with Paddy Considine’s? You never know. (That’s assuming they both survive of course, which they might not have done what with the marauding cop-killer marauding about all over the place. Honest.)

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