Jason Statham stars as Detective Tom Brant, a tough no-nonsense cop who, at the start of the film, assaults three youths trying to break into a car and receives some bad publicity in the newspaper. When a young policewoman is shot dead one evening at point blank range, a new Inspector called Porter Nash (Paddy Considine) is put in charge of the investigation to find the person responsible and he discovers that Brant’s questionable methods could be useful in this case.
The psychotic killer (Aiden Gillen) who calls himself “The Blitz”, phones journalist Harold Dunlop (David Morrissey) to confess his crime and vows to kill eight more police officers. His quest for tabloid glory leads him to commit vicious and shocking crimes against the upholders of the law, like shooting a young officer sitting in his car in broad daylight.
Brant and Nash make a good team as they join forces to protect their own and take the murderer down because the police need to catch him before he catches them. These two characters, and the villain, are the highlights of the film thanks to the actors who portray them. There is a strong cast of British actors including Jason Statham (continuing his action-packed career), Paddy Considine (on fine form following great performances in Submarine (2010), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)), and Aiden Gillen (from TV’s The Wire and Game of Thrones). David Morrissey and Luke Evans also make the most of their smaller roles.
The director, Elliott Lester, has worked on over 100 music videos and commercials. This is his second full-length film following teen drama Love is the Drug, which was screened at the Cannes film festival in 2006. Nathan Parker, who wrote Duncan Jones’ excellent debut film Moon (2009), adapted the story from a novel by acclaimed Irish crime writer Ken Bruen, who has written a series of books featuring the character of Brant.
Blitz is a solid cop drama with good performances, direction and framing. However, there are times when the tone of the film switches unsuccessfully between darkly humorous, tragic drama and action-packed thrills. The attempt to move away from a straight action film and add other elements sometimes leaves it feeling fragmented and uneven. The sub-plot involving a policewoman recently out of rehab also detracts from the main story and isn’t as involving as it should have been. There is another missed opportunity concerning the interesting relationship between the killer and the journalist following the story of his career. This isn’t built upon; instead the journalist seems to disappear half-way through the film.
Overall however, the film is an enjoyable cop drama. Brant, with his unconventional (and not always law abiding) methods of stopping criminals, is a likeable character, and action star Statham builds on the hard-man image he has cemented in films like The Transporter (2002), Crank (2006) and The Expendables (2010).
Blitz will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 26th.
DIRECTOR: ELLIOTT LESTER
STARS: JASON STATHAM, AIDAN GILLEN, PADDY CONSIDINE, DAVID MORRISEY, ZAWE ASHTON
RUNTIME: 97 MINS APPROX