Notable Cast: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aidan Gillen
Review: “A rough and tumble hitman/cop is hunting an evil businessman/criminal/rival for revenge/money/survival…unless he is the criminal. Then he’s robbing someone evil/a bank.” Pick one, and you’ve got the basis for every Statham movie of the last however many years. In Blitz, we can circle “cop,” “criminal,” and “revenge.” Yes, Blitz is the tired out “cop makes case personal to avenge his fallen brethren” plot line, and doesn’t do much to spruce it up. At face value, it’s just Statham being Statham: death stare, accent, ass-kicking and all. But when we get deeper, it’s about Statham using his death stare, accent, and ass-kicking…well, yeah, OK that’s about it. The plot deviates and some things happen we don’t have a reason to care about, but in the end Statham beats the shit out of the bad guy, and goes on his merry way to the next movie, where he’ll pick another random profession out of a hat that will force him to kick ass yet another day. Did you really expect anything else?
Detective Sergeant Tom Brant (Statham) is a physical, street smart cop that does the job his own way. Not even he is safe though, as there is currently a killer loose who is targeting only cops. Brant’s station brings in a prim and proper officer named Nash (Considine) to partner with him, and the two make a opposites attract kind of partnership. But when the killer, dubbing himself Blitz (Gillen), gets hold of a reporter and makes it known he’s not going to stop killing, Brant makes it his personal mission to hunt the murderer down. The only question is, can Brant and Nash work together well enough to stop Blitz before he strikes again? Or will Blitz get the best of this English police precinct, and take them apart one by one.
Nothing like a good brawl to brighten your day up…
Blitz has elements that try to distract you from its bland nature, but don’t be fooled! One of the characters, WPC Elizabeth Falls (played by Zawe Ashton), is played out like a main character, when in reality the film would have been the same whether she lived or died. If her character magically disappeared, Blitz would have been non the worse off, and actually less time would have been wasted. Falls’ story goes into her back story as a drug addict, and how she’s trying not to relapse as a cop, but it’s all just filler material as the big picture focuses mainly on the hunting of Blitz itself. Every time it cut to Falls, I was a tad confused and bored watching her go about her daily routine for no apparent reason. The character added nothing worthwhile to the film, just existing purely for drama. This is just one instance of Hollywood fat that could easily be trimmed. It’s the kind of fat that adds no flavor and makes you chew it for days on end, giving no delicious payoff at the end.
The character of Blitz himself, played by Aidan Gillen, was an entertaining yet farfetched villain for Statham to face. On one hand, you admire his ballsy nature as he kills cops around populated areas in broad daylight wearing nothing but bright ray ban sunglasses, an unzipped track jacked, and track pants. There was a method to his madness if you will, and a sort of certain chaos that made him intriguing to watch. You couldn’t tell if he was an evil genius, an over-confident ego maniac, or just didn’t care. But then, as the film goes on, you realize how preposterous it is that he hasn’t been caught because of these careless antics. In one particular scene, after he torches the apartment owned by one of his victims, he continues to ride his bike in a circle right next to the responding officers. Not only that, but he’s on the phone bragging loudly to his journalist contact about the crime he just pulled off, smiling and laughing the whole time. You’re telling me not a single official in the area notices some track suit wearing dick riding his bike in a circle right outside a crime scene, laughing and joking while everyone else is in shock? We’re not questioning him why? You see what I’m saying here? It was fun to a degree, but the investigation of Blitz seemed carried out just for the film, not thinking about the realistic nature of Blitz’s actions.
But, Statham will be Statham, so how does the action hold up? Again, all the normal aspects are there. Statham fights a group that outnumbers him with manpower and weaponry, but of course schools them all? Check. Statham has a long drawn out chase scene on foot, with plenty of parkour like moves? Check. Go down the Statham Action Check List and you get just about everything. But, in the end, the man fights with grace and style, so how can you hate on him? It’s just good old fashion fun watching Statham beat the piss out of an entire group of thugs equipped with knives and whatnot. But it can’t carry a film. Statham can only get you so far action wise, and the rest is up to the story.
So what does Blitz deliver that other films in its genre cannot? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It wants to make you believe it does, oh trust me it really wants to impress you. Watching Blitz is like going to the titty bar on an off night. You’re not expecting the A grade crop, but then you get a C grader that comes out and just gives it her heart and soul. You feel bad, and you know she’s trying her hardest, but it just isn’t enough. You throw a few bucks in out of sympathy, but after you’re almost regretting it. You don’t, because you still got to see what you wanted, but the lack of a lasting impression is what lingers the most. Blitz is that girl, and Statham is the goods. You get what you paid for, Statham rearranging faces, but you can’t help but be let down by the final product. Now titties and Statham, we’re in a whole different ballpark…
Final Rating: 6 dead cops out of 10