Film Review – Blitz

BLITZ quad

You have to admire the career of Jason Statham, a man with no great acting skill, but a great physique and the ability to growl his way through a script. Most of his Hollywood flicks have been visually stunning, somewhat bonkers and require an absolute suspension of disbelief. Blitz, set in and around Clerkenwell is much grittier fare, yet beneath its fast paced exterior is a plot that is riddled with as many holes as a large chunk of Gruyere.

Statham plays Brandt, a South London copper close to burnout. A serial killer is targeting and killing police officers working at his station, forcing him to team up with new boss Porter Nash (Paddy Considine) an openly gay officer, to track down the killer before he claims any further victims.

It’s by the numbers stuff. Hampering the investigation is hack journo Harold Dunlop (David Morrissey) who gets embroiled as the killer, who calls himself Blitz, gets the maximum press for his crimes. This is no whodunnit, the identity of the killer is known from pretty much the beginning (a sleazy Aidan Gillen) but we watch as Brandt and Nash piece together the clues.

Well, I say piece together. The detective work appears to be pretty minimal, the odd off-screen conversation and a quick trawl through the database. Where Brandt gets his results is by being his growly menacing self and inflicting a little more pain. The suggestion is that Nash is more cerebral but we see little of that too. The plot doesn’t bear looking at too closely, the motivations of a number of the key characters change to suit the circumstances but don’t have any real emotional truth. It just doesn’t hang together terribly well.

Having said that, there are elements of it that are very good indeed. If you allow yourself to be carried along, then it’s an entertaining ride. It’s well shot, with nothing tricksy, and a muted colour palette. There’s a resoundingly old school feel to it, so when Brandt chases Blitz by foot, it’s all very straightforward, no trendy parcours just the Stath running someone down.

Statham turns in another Statham performance, never Oscar winning material but with enough charm and growl to keep people happy. Considine is watchable as ever, Morrissey feels under used and Gillen commands attention while on screen at all times. All leads play it totally straight, in keeping with the tone of the film.

It’s violent too, Blitz’s attack on Brandt’s boss Roberts (Mark Rylance) is particularly disturbing. And if you think too much about it Brandt’s behaviour is far from palatable. A scene early in the movie where he shows some hoodies the error of their ways is amusing, but there is a very real feel of a man who’s feels the end will always justify the means.

While it’s not the best film set in South London at the moment, (that accolade has to go to Attack the Block), this is a film that not only Statham fans will love this but also anyone who likes gritty Britflicks.

Blitz is released in the UK on May 20th.

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 18, 2011.

One Response to “Film Review – Blitz”

  1. Looking forward to watching this! Big Statham Fan!

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