Blitz - Blu-ray Review

'this, like every other Statham film, is full of men being 'men', meaning they take part in such 'fun' activities as near-random head-smashing and growling out well-written lines'

For the minority wondering what would happen if Jason Statham were to be given the lead in Taggart or the recently departed The Bill, then Blitz provides the answer. This is a Jason Statham film outside of the scope of the usual Jason Statham film: it's a police procedural with officers Statham and Paddy Considine attempting to track down cop-killer Aidan Gillen.

As far as that premise goes, it's quite a fun one to behold. It opens with Statham waking up on his sofa, obviously hung over, pouring some whiskey in to a mug and casually tipping it down his throat. Two minutes and fifty seconds later and three do-badders have had their heads mangled by an Irish hurling stick. This, like every other Statham film, is full of men being 'men', meaning they take part in such 'fun' activities as near-random head-smashing and growling out well-written lines such as Sergeant Brant's (Statham) response to whether or not he is going to take interview notes: 'do I look like I carry a pencil?'

Director Elliott Lester handles several things extremely well. Porter Nash (Considine) is in charge of co-ordinating all of the overt machismo on show and is revealed early on to be homosexual. Many other films would treat this as a plot point and indulge in near-homophobic stereotypes but Lester does a good job of just letting Nash be a character who happens to be gay and his development throughout is all the better for it. Equally, the mystery is never really a mystery. The killer is revealed early on and as such the involvement for the audience is all derived from watching Statham and Considine do their best to bring him to justice, something which never feels any less than thoroughly engaging.

Chief amongst the film's problems is the subplot involving WPC Falls (Zawe Ashton). It doesn't take a genius to work out that eventually Falls' story will converge with the main narrative and it takes Lester far too long to get us to that point. It doesn't help either that Ashton isn't the best performer on show here. Pair her up with Luke Evans (which Lester does) and you've got a veritable charisma vacuum that you just don't care about. More character building for Gillen's victims - there's basically none - would have been a far more welcome distraction.




Look further...

'the attempt to move away from a straight action film and add other elements sometimes leaves it feeling fragmented and uneven' - Suspend Your Disbelief, 3/5

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