Jason Statham is a hard nut. If you don’t believe me then just check out most of his past movies in which he almost always plays a hard nut. In Blitz he is a copper. A hard nut copper. The kind of man who sees off would-be car thieves with a bit of the old ultra-violence and some cocky taunts. He’s also rude, sexist and a big fan of anything alcoholic. Even for breakfast.
Blitz is the latest film to star Jason Statham and it’s a lot of fun, in no small part thanks to the lead character being played by Statham that teeters on a needle-point of over-the-top parody.
The main plot of the film, besides Statham being a hard nut, is all about a swaggering, laid-back psycho (Aidan Gillen) who has started killing police officers. The case becomes a top priority for the police, obviously, and quickly gets very personal for Detective Sergeant Tom Brant (Statham). Together with the new man put in charge, Porter Nash (yet another flawless turn from Paddy Considine), Brant wants to find this cop killer and get him put away for a very long time.
Blitz goes to some very dark places. There’s alcoholism, drug addiction, police corruption and some brutal murders. The fact that it is all given a bit of spit, polish and pizzazz may be discomforting for many viewers and I couldn’t help thinking that the uneven tone of the film (one moment a tense cop thriller, the next moment a “Jason Statham movie”, the next moment a revenge flick) really worked against it.
The acting is wildly uneven. Gillen is superb as the cop-killer with a cheeky smirk almost permanently plastered on his face and a witticism always at the ready. Prime example: “I want a lawyer and a sandwich and I want to update my Facebook status”.
Paddy Considine, the fact that I already mentioned his flawless turn should probably give you a clue that he gives yet another flawless turn. Then we have Statham being a hard nut. His performance is quite ridiculous but no less enjoyable for it. He does that kind of thing so well. David Morrisey is also very good as Dunlop, a greedy journalist with a hunger for the big story even when he comes across information that he should give straight to the police. Zawe Ashton doesn’t fare well at all, thanks to badly performing her badly written role. Everyone else onscreen just seems to be there to get growled at by Statham, which is fair enough.
Director Elliott Lester has only directed one full movie before this so it’s good to see that he at least shows potential. Many individual scenes work just fine, it’s that constant changing tone that proves to be the biggest problem. Perhaps that’s due to Nathan Parker’s script, or even the source novel by Ken Bruen, or perhaps it’s simply due to the fact that this didn’t need to be “a Jason Staham movie”. No point in fretting over that now, however. Blitz IS a Jason Statham movie and Statham fans will certainly get some enjoyment from it.
You can cop Blitz on DVD on 26th September here in the UK.
DIRECTOR: ELLIOTT LESTER
STARS: JASON STATHAM, AIDAN GILLEN, PADDY CONSIDINE, DAVID MORRISEY, ZAWE ASHTON
RUNTIME: 97 MINS APPROX