Blitz (2011) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Blitz is a quiet moody and evocative little thriller. Those expecting a Jason Statham action extravaganza along the lines of The Transporter will be disappointed to realize that after an opening bit of violence the story turns into a cat and mouse game between cop-killer and killer-cop. The film skipped a theatrical release and premiered on DVD here in the States. I have a sneaking suspicion that it has to do with the London setting, American audiences aren’t particularly keen on police procedurals that take place in Europe. It’s a shame this film didn’t get a wider release. The acting, direction and production values are leagues above the norm of a film dumped straight into the home video market.

Jason Statham is Brant, a loose cannon cop with a quick temper. After being forced to partner up on the case with an openly homosexual cop, the two are assigned to hunt down a serial killer that has been targeting police officers throughout London. As the story grows it becomes apparent that the killer known as Blitz (Aidan Gillen) has a past connection with Brant. While that plot description may sound recycled the screenplay by Nathan Parker does a superb job of turning conventions upside down and infusing the story with enough twist to keep any restless viewer satisfied. A lengthy subplot involving a female officer on the force, newly sobered and targeted by the Blitz, is at first distracting but ultimately serves the story and the film with a bit of heart.

The real revelation here is the performance from both Aidan Gillen (12 Rounds) and more surprisingly Jason Statham. I’ve seen Gillen do the creepy maniac schtick before and with his slight build and Richard Gere like appearance he is at his slimy best as the homicidal lunatic committing (apparent) random acts of murder. It’s Statham though that really anchors the film down. His gruff delivery and unkept appearance have never been more appropriately exploited. Perhaps it’s due to the source material, a novel by author Ken Bruen, that is rich in character background. Giving the action star turned thespian a meaty role with enough physicality to entertain old fans and some dark humor to attract new one.

Director Elliott Lester has a gift for the visually dynamic. The images that populate the film are somewhat breathtaking, Lester is a natural born storyteller and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future. Blitz is a low-key thriller that shares more with Seven than Crank. Viewer be warned this is not the action film you’re looking for, but it is one of the best direct-to-DVD thrillers ever produced.

Director: Elliott Lester
Stars: Jason Statham, Aidan Gillen, Paddy Considine

One thought on “Blitz (2011) – Review

  1. I just watched this film three days ago. I had some difficulty understanding some of the thick London accents but, overall, it was a very good movie. I am surprised to hear that it went straight to DVD. Definitely it could have made a good run in the theaters, I think.

    I agree that Jason Statham can act although many of the roles that he takes don’t require a lot of dialogue. He has a screen presence and a believability that many action stars fail to achieve. Perhaps another reason he has remained popular for so long.

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