REEL ACTION: Blitz, starring Jason Statham and Paddy Considine

BLITZ (2011)
Rating: 2.5 out of 4 /Buy the DVD Here

Tagline: It's cop-killer versus killer-cop!

Directed by: Elliott Lester
Starring: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aiden Gillen, David Morrissey and Zawe Ashton.

THE PLAN: The City of London Police force is under attack by a cowardly serial killer called Blitz who delights in taking out coppers without apparent rhyme or reason. After he kills a sergeant with close ties to Brant, a take-no-prisoners cop who plays by his own set of rules (of course), Blitz finds himself going from hunter to hunted.

THE KILL: Elliot Lester's BLITZ is like every good cop/bad cop you've ever seen, only with tea and toast. It's a very British take on a quintessential American action movie formula, but don't go thinking it's proper and polite. It's got Jason Statham in it, and he's doing his cocky hard man thing. He doesn't get to bust as many noses in this one as usual, but he's quick with a verbal jab and a glare that will turn your ass to jelly, so there's plenty to like about the film if you favor the Statham brand.

You can't tell here, but these two always hold hands while interrogating a suspect

Statham plays Brant, a tough cop frequently in trouble for taking beating up street hoods and petty thieves to within an inch of their life. His superiors would like him to keep a lower profile, but that proves difficult once Blitz comes to town. Blitz is the name taken by sleazy Barry Weiss (Aiden Gillen), a perpetually grinning punk who has begun to randomly (or so it seems) assassinate officers on the street. Blitz is a brazen, carefree psychopath who doesn't mind doing his dirty work right out in the open; he even brags about his crimes to a local hack newspaper man (David Morrissey). But before you can say "now he's f*cked with the wrong cop", he finds himself in the crosshairs of Brant, who correctly suspects there's a link to himself and Blitz.

Brant eventually has to join forces with the station's new sergeant, Porter Nash (Paddy Considine), who also happens to be gay. The fact that he's gay really doesn't appear relevant to the story at all, but it sets him apart from the other men and allows Statham's character to poke fun at him from time to time. (Although as he's a "good cop", Statham ultimately respects and likes Nash, proving he's not such a thoughtless bastard after all.) The two go after Blitz using Brant's street smarts and Nash's more pragmatic methods, and as they close in on the killer, they find the freak is perhaps smarter than they imagined.

The Crackhead Marathon isn't super popular in London

BLITZ is less a Statham asskicking extravaganza and more a police procedural; there are a handful of chases, but most of the action is relegated to either Blitz killing someone (he's fond of handguns but he'll use a hammer if he has to) or Statham just beating someone up. There are also a bevy of subplots I haven't even mentioned that seem rather disposable (one involving a female cop battling drug addiction, another sees a drunkard's attempts to expose Blitz's identity) and distract from the film's central concept.

The charisma of the cast certainly helps the movie's cause. Statham is Statham; at this point it's clear the actor pretty much has one mode, and that's alright, because he does it well. Paddy Considine does his best with a character that isn't exactly fleshed out, but the duo's camaraderie is believable enough. It's Gillen, however, who is the best thing about the movie; an actor less willing to ham it up so gleefully would be detrimental to the film, compromising the entertainment value by half. The killer's motive ultimately turns out to be stunningly simple, but Gillen is so convincingly scuzzy and detestable that we can buy the character's lack of imagination.

The BLITZ trailer!

TOP ACTION: A rough-and-tumble footchase through the streets of London makes for an exciting time.

TOP DEATH: A hammer makes mincemeat out of an unfortunate detective's face.

TOP DIALOGUE: Brant (right before beating a gang of punks into the ground): "Word of advice girls. If you're going to pick the wrong fight, at least pick the right weapon."

FEMALE EXPLOITATION: Zawe Ashton provides some necessary lady lumps in this testosterone-fest, although she doesn't give up the goods.

HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: In one scene, Considine's gay character tells Statham a heartfelt story while Statham falls asleep in a chair. The next morning, Statham wakes up with a blanket all tucked in around him. Touching.

DRINKING GAME: Drink every time Statham drinks while on duty. You'll be just as blitzed by the end of his shift as he should be.

TRIVIA: The screenwriter, Nathan Parker, also wrote Duncan Jones' MOON.

Director Elliott Lester has directed music videos for the likes of Jessica Simpson and Hilary Duff. No joke.

Up-and-coming Welsh actor Luke Evans (IMMORTALS, THE RAVEN) has a small role as a detective.


Tags: reel action



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