Crimezine loves Jason Statham. It is that simple. Jase is more London than the Thames. More East end than a pint of jellied eels in Kray brothers boozer the Blind Beggar. The geezer has a big personality and it takes a special kind of film to accommodate this.
Unfortunately Blitz is not that film. First of all there is the title. For Londoner’s the word Blitz (Short for the German word Blitzkrieg , or lightening war.) means the ariel bombing campaign the Nazis used to attack the city during World War Two. Here it is used to describe a creepy cop killer who decides to go on a murder spree after Jase gives him a well deserved clump over the head with a pool cue. Getting whacked on the noggin with blunt instruments is par for the course in the world of East end villainy, as common place as pie and mash, so it seems a tad unlikely that getting justly thumped in a pool hall rumble would lead to such a long trail of dead cops.
Psychological motivation is not this films strong point quite obviously.
Retro cliche features big however. Jase plays a hard drinking, hard hitting, fast-talking cop, in the Dirty Harry, Sweeney, Life on Mars mould. Although the film is set in the present day, the dialogue and attitudes are straight out of the 1970’s. ( sample dialogue: You’re not bad—for a shirt lifter.) Trouble is, real cops are not like that, and very few were like that even in the hard-partying misogynist seventies. A police department comprised almost entirely of alcoholics and drug addicts takes this film into the world of witless parody. At first this is unintentionally amusing, but soon it becomes yawnsome and annoying.
Then there is the screen play. There are so many holes in the plot that any sense of reality quickly disappears, into a netherworld of goofy set pieces. Like an Ealing comedy gone wrong, we are expected to believe that London’ s finest arrest the serial killer, but are forced to release him only hours later, along with a large amount of money stolen from his last victim. This, despite the fact that heroic Jase has established a credible link between the killer and the victims. Political corectness gone wrong is the heavy handed reasoning here, but by this stage of the game, the stench of bullshit is so bad, it is overpowering the aroma of the mounting corpse count.
Statham plays the outsider far better than the cop, even if it is a maverick cop. The obvious attraction of this film is that Jase is back on the manor in London, rather than chasing racial stereotypes around Southern California in an Audi. Trouble is, this idea is far more engaging than the actuality. No doubt the hard hitting Statham can return to home turf in a convincing crime film, unfortunately Blitz is not that film.
The enjoyment of Blitz can be improved greatly, by taking a shot of Scotch every time a tired cop show cliche tumbles out of someones lips, but be warned, you will need an iron constitution to see the movie out.
Maybe you should save your pounds sterling governor, go see Killer Elite instead.