Sometimes I worry for actor Jason Statham. In this British born serial killer movie ‘Blitz’, to the surprise of no one, Mr. Statham plays a single minded of focus, impossible to control, hardcore, supreme badass sporting a couple of days worth of razor stubble. Jason plays this role so often and with such frequency that I’m afraid that one day he’s going to actually run into row and instead of running or getting on his mobile and calling the police, he might get confused, think that he actually is Frank Martin, Chev Chelios or one of those other myriad of razor stubble badasses he’s played and end up getting himself seriously f’d up. I don’t want that for Jason because I like his movies. Do a lame romantic comedy or play some kind of sissy somewhere down the road Jason, just to keep things straight in your mind. I worry about you man.
Today’s razor stubble sporting badass is detective Sgt. Tom Brandt. We see Tom early in this movie politely discussing, via hockey stick, the errors of some wayward youths attempting to steal his car. Since beating perps near to death with hockey sticks is generally frowned upon in most civilized societies, even if they are criminals, Sgt. Tom is called to talk to the police shrink to iron out his issues. Tom is out of control and doesn’t play by the rules. I don’t know what more this shrink needs to know.
All of that is really neither here nor there to be honest with you, as the main issue is that some loon is running around this section of London randomly shooting cops in the head. Of course we know that Sgt. Tom is going to be on the job, but to assist in his efforts he is given a partner in the snazzy dressed, totally gay copper Porter Nash (Paddy Considine). I don’t think this character’s sexual preference plays any real part in this movie, outside of some of immature name calling when we first meet Porter, but I imagine in Ken Bruen’s novel that this is based, Porter Nash’s homosexuality was probably of more an issue.
Anyway, doing all of this cop killing is the hyper loon Barry Weiss (Aiden Gillen) who has used a slimy tabloid reporter to have himself called The Blitz, which is short for Blitzkrieg. Weiss really hates cops, but out of all the cops he hates the most, number one with a bullet is Sgt. Tom who did some bad things to my man that he sworn eternal revenge for.
‘Blitz’ also has another little side story going on dealing with young cop Elizabeth Falls (Zawe Ashton) and her substance abuse issues. This side story is tied loosely to the whole Blitz thing, but for the most part leads nowhere in particular and seems inserted, if for no other reason, than Zawe Ashton is really good looking and you need a good looking woman hanging around in a movie like this.
Nonetheless, The Blitz has a list and he’s checking it twice, and he really, really needs to kill Sgt. Tom. Really. Clearly the Blitz hasn’t seen ‘The Transporter’ or ‘Crank’ or ‘The Italian Job’ or ‘The Mechanic’ or ‘The Expendables’ or ‘Death Race’… we could keep going, but I think we all know that The Blitz has no satisfaction coming his way at the end of this movie.
So with Jason Stratham in the lead, and with a movie set in London, you might think we’re going to get one of those high concept ensemble type British crime movies that Guy Ritchie used to make before Madonna stole his mojo, but that’s not what you’re getting with ‘Blitz’. Instead what you are getting with ‘Blitz’ is a late eighties, early nineties style American buddy cop movie. That’s not a bad thing, that’s not a good thing, it’s just a thing. Which is kind of how we feel about director Elliot Lester’s movie in that it’s just a ‘thing’. It’s something to watch, it’s something to take up some time while not pissing you off in the process, it’s competently crafted, it looks real nice, Aiden Gillen made for a very interesting and completely hateful character, and the movie has Jason Statham in it who I think probably knows a thing or two about playing an out of control character who sports razor stubble. Those are some solid ingredients.
But I also guess this would be the problem with ‘Blitz’ in that is so… safely competent. Aside from Aiden Gillen’s rather unique take on the serial killer and his manic performance, ‘Blitz’ is about as run of the mill, as run of the mill gets as far as these things go. There were some extra things going on in the periphery that looked like it could separate ‘Blitz’ from the action pack a little, Paddy Considine’s characters gayness for instance looked like it could’ve led to something, but no, he was just a gay guy who was the control side of our out of control, not playing by the rules lead character. And as we mentioned earlier, and judging by the way this movie looked like it was cut, I imagine Zawe Ashton’s PC Falls character probably has a lot of her stuff left on the cutting room floor because her issues didn’t really didn’t add much to the overall movie.
But I was entertained by ‘Blitz’. It’s a 90’s style American Buddy Cop movie with two cats chasing down a crazed serial killer featuring Jason Stratham being out of control. You generally can’t go too terribly wrong with that kind of equation. Maybe it could’ve been better, maybe it could’ve added up to more than we got, we will take what we did get and be done with it.