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Jason Statham (The Mechanic, The Expendables) heads the cast of Blitz as the tough, uncompromising and un-PC detective “Brant”, who is teamed with unlikely partner “Sgt Porter Nash” played by Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum) to investigate a series of police murders. BAFTA and Tony Award-nominee Aidan Gillen (HBO’s The Wire) and fellow BAFTA-nominee David Morrissey (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, State of Play, Nowhere Boy) join the cast as a cop-hating serial killer “Weiss” (Gillen) and hack crime reporter “Dunlop” (Morrissey).
The strong supporting cast includes Tony Award winner Mark Rylance (recently seen at the Royal Court in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem), Zawe Ashton (St Trinian’s II: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold), Richard Riddell (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) and Nicky Henson (Vera Drake).
Written by Nathan Parker (Moon) and produced by Zygi Kamasa, Steve Chasman (The Bank Job), Brad Wyman and Donald Kushner, Blitz is the second feature to be directed by Elliott Lester.
Is there an action movie star with the consistency and work ethic of Jason Statham? Few seem as prolific, and while Blitz in some ways follows the template of some of his earlier work, there’s a few really quite interesting touches squeezed in between the credits here.
At heart, Blitz feels like one of those old-fashioned ‘70s cop thrillers that they apparently don’t make any more. Statham is the old fashioned detective who refuses to play by new rules, with his outlook on life hardly in line with politically correct thinking. And he’s up against an extremely unpredictable, volatile foe in the shape of Aiden Gillan’s cop killer.
The two are kept apart for much of Blitz, and this is one of the film’s many wise steps. It allows both to build up respective heads of steam, with Gillen in particular proving to be a really quite distinct villain, and an extremely nasty one.
Behind the camera, you can’t help but feel that director Elliott Lester has done his homework, too. Stylishly, but not fussily, edited, Blitz is gritty, pacy, and knows not to outstay its welcome. There are elements of the film that you’ll have felt you’ve seen before, and there are few surprises to Statham’s performance in particular. Yet that proves to be one of the movie’s strengths, and it’s hard not to chalk Blitz up as another highly watchable entry on Jason Statham’s CV. A good, solid, action thriller. --Jon Foster
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The characters in Blitz, the film quickly makes it clear, are from the 'real world' not the PC world. There are dirty cops, hookers, homophobia, and some nasty violence. What makes Blitz work is the way it handles these and turns it all into a watchable mix thts less offensive than it sounds. With a slightly '70s feel, and the gritty 'nasty killer at work in a grimy world' atmosphere of the best of the 'Prime Suspect' series, Blitz centres around a killer who suddenly and nastily starts murdering cops.
Into this mix steps Paddy Considine as an openly gay Sergeant promoted in charge of the investigation. Considine is typically excellent, his character largely avoiding stereotypical pitfalls, except having a penchant for neatness and a 'minimalist' flat - and he has unexpected storyline layers that enrich the tale.
Aiden Gillen has never been better, his 'Blitz' a nasty, rat-like piece of work, all repressed cowardice, bitterness and sadism - far superior to his fey turn as a bad guy in 'Shanghai Knights'. Here he even looks skinny and roughed up, his character convincingly 'lived in'.
The violence is frequent and brief, but occasionally shocking, and the film's story takes us on a journey that's exciting at best and at least interesting at worst.
The ending may feel a little 'contrived', but when thought about afterwards it makes perfect sense. Its a richly plotted thriller that certainly feels like it's still got one foot in its crime novel roots.
Worth a look for fans of British thrillers.
But at least the 97 minute running time provides an opportunity for Statham to showcase his acting skills, running as he does through the whole range, from A to A-. Eastwood showed how the ‘renegade cop’ thing could be played over 40 years ago: since then we’ve had a plethora of sub-standard wannabees hissing their way through threadbare plots in pale imitations of the original. I’ll give Statham this, he does have screen presence: but he does so little with it that, by comparison, he makes set props appear animated. Good actors may not have a lot of dialogue but still hint at an ‘internal’ life; e.g. the aforementioned Eastwood or McQueen.
If anybody wants to see what Morrisey and Gillen are truly capable of when given a half decent, literate script that focuses on British crime, they need look no further than the TV adaptations of Mark Billingham’s novels, Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat, aired on Sky1 in 2010 as ‘Thorne’, with the ever excellent Eddie Marsan as a bonus.
Sure he is a terrible actor but he plays a hardass so well. Its full of the usual Statham style cheesy lines, british humour and good old Statham brawling. If you like things like Lock Stock and Train Spotting then youll like Blitz.
The plot is rather good which keeps you hanging on but it is predicatable. You know where things are going and whats going to happen. Characters are a good mix up and the "bad guy" is a character you really begin to loathe which is some fabulour acting.
All in all its a good old viollent british film which I will proudly add to my collection when its out on dvd and itll sit comfortable between Snatch and Lock Stock.
There is the occasional bit of light relief among the darkness of the movie. Brant is interviewing an informer in a pub who says he has information leading to the killer, The Blitz (Aidan Gillen). He asks Brant for a lot of money for the information. The informer ends up buying the drinks and acquires a bad knee into the bargain. When he protests, Brant says he has left him some of the packet of crisps and calls him a 'greedy b****r'.
But 'Blitz' isn't for the sensitive or squeamish. It is an action packed, hard-hitting, Jason Statham movie and Statham fans will not be disappointed. I wasn't. I think Blitz is, arguably, his best movie.
This appears to be the director, Elliott Lester's second only movie. Pretty impressive I think. The story is based on the Ken Bruen book, Blitz, available at Amazon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was another film from the 2007 Blacklist of 'most liked' unmade scripts for the year. Other films on the list that have since been made include Salt, Source Code and The... Read morePublished 2 months ago by tallmanbaby
Good action packed film with first rate actors. Story line concerns the seedy world of drug dealing in London with macho cops and loser bad guys.Published 2 months ago by anna
Another action filled movie with only our best Jason..Published 3 months ago by MISS MICHELLE L WILLIS