Gritty, violent Brit cop film - better than I expected
- Blitz review by RP
ason Statham is not one of my favourite actors. He seems to be typecast into hard-man, mockney gangster, tough-man roles, with not much scope to display acting ability. That is, if he has any - frankly, it's not been much in evidence in his so-called 'action' films. And there's not a lot of difference here, although there is some pretence that he's Irish - but his acting is much better. And there's no special effects.
On the other hand, Paddy Considine is one of my favourite actors. He has excellent acting skills, proved himself adept at a range of characters and accents and has appeared alongside big name stars (Matt Damon, Russell Crowe) without being outclassed. He has also written and directed his own films, winning a couple of BAFTAs in the process. And he even has his own band ('Riding The Low' - they're not bad - check out their 2009 EP and 2013 album).
'Blitz' is based on a novel by Ken Bruen. Perhaps unfortunately it is the 4th in Bruen's Tom Brant series, which leads to a few loose ends as the backstory of the characters is never explained. But that's a minor point...
'Blitz' opens with gritty, tough DS Tom Brant (Jason Statham) using a hurley (=Irish hockey stick) to mete out (humorous?) punishment to local foul-mouthed, car stealing youths. Having established his Irish credentials, the plot progresses as a couple of local police are killed by someone calling himself 'The Blitz'. Along comes Acting DI Porter Nash (Paddy Considine) to take over the investigation. Nash is openly gay, which leads to some banter with the unreconstructed Brant; anyway, the two seem to get on just fine and jointly break not a few rules and heads as they identify the killer and punish him fatally. Err, that's it.
It's a fairly straightforward Brit cop/crime film with the usual ignoring of police procedure and familiar grim, depressing urban setting - but apart from the rather peculiar labelling of the police as 'London' rather Metropolitan Police, there is none of the River Thames / Big Ben / red double-decker bus scene setting that seems to be required fodder for the American market. So it must be for the UK market, then? If so, it's not been too successful...
Having said that, I quite enjoyed it - it's better than I expected. Yes, it's tough and violent with a fair quotient of f-ing and blinding, but it did allow Statham to take the central role without the martial art / Hollywood gloss that perhaps he's had too much of.
I'll give it 4/5 stars, although that does seem a little generous. If you like the genre, give it a try.
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