Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Review: Direct-To-DVD 'Blitz' Falls Somewhere In The Middle Of The Jason Statham Spectrum

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist September 4, 2011 at 2:33AM

The world of “Blitz” is made up almost entirely of cops. On this cop planet, where the occasional child wanders into trouble and eventually is saved by said cops, these 9-to-5ers struggle to pay bills, worry about pensions, and operate from dingy, drab boardrooms. There’s a stark contrast between the ratty, dilapidated apartments where they live and the pristine, glassy office of a police psychologist. Most of these men and women are punching a clock, and seem too far down the food chain to change anything about this.
2


The world of “Blitz” is made up almost entirely of cops. On this cop planet, where the occasional child wanders into trouble and eventually is saved by said cops, these 9-to-5ers struggle to pay bills, worry about pensions, and operate from dingy, drab boardrooms. There’s a stark contrast between the ratty, dilapidated apartments where they live and the pristine, glassy office of a police psychologist. Most of these men and women are punching a clock, and seem too far down the food chain to change anything about this.

These problems don’t seem to phase our lead super cop Brant. As played by the might-as-well-be-invincible Jason Statham, he revels in the doldrums of the slums. Pugilistic to an extreme, the homophobic, and possibly classicist Brant gladly brandishes a baseball bat when it comes to the local hooligans, while proudly boasting of an ongoing record of police brutality. He’s a good cop because, in this world, what else is there to occupy your time?


The menial status of pay-wage cops takes a further hit when a small-time crook begins murdering uniformed officers left and right. What does he want? His motivations end up being petty and irrelevant, but its in his complete indifference to the law that he gleefully operates under the sway of chaotic carnage. He’s not so much a murderer as much as a blunt political object in a world that is so depoliticized into a realm of cops and ants. Appropriate that the killer (Aiden Gillen, all teeth) calls himself Blitz, short for Blitzkrieg -- these cops can barely eke out a living, let alone protect their own, so any assault, particularly from a petty criminal, seems potentially crippling.

“Blitz” sides with the recent “Harry Brown” in demonizing soulless criminal minds versus possibly-corrupt organizations, with individuals doing the immoral dirty work to preserve a fragile society. It feels less like an elegy to lost morals as much as a somewhat troubling call to arms, and there’s some sort of coded discomfort in both of these films taking lower class criminals and making them white to allow for a more palatable consumption, ignoring England’s cultural climate. Match this attitude with something like “Attack The Block,” where our lower class “criminals” are all real people, kids suffering from unfortunate home circumstances and attitudes. The inclusion of a scene where the basically-unknowable Blitz sits and watches a game show in the house of a murder victim while the body continues to bleed suggests our villain, as deranged as he may be, is an OCD sufferer.

Contrast this spastic troublemaker with Statham, again playing a world beating colossus. It’s his own physicality that allows his range to be forever stunted, as he makes his way from superman to superman in a quest to make similar variations on the same action film. Statham gives this character significant heft -- he can act, surprise, surprise -- but while his dark sense of humor and burnt-out demeanor add shades to this character that wouldn’t be present in some of his other efforts, it’s simply not possible to envision him not brutally punishing this scab of a man.

The film teams him with Officer Nash, an import from another station, and at first there’s tension, as Nash is an openly gay officer. This sadly ends up as window dressing as Nash eventually strengthens his grudging partnership with Brant by revealing his own doings as a cop who operates outside the law. Paddy Considine plays Nash with a slight actorly affectation, but otherwise, he’s sidekick cop all the way.

“Blitz” has gone direct to DVD stateside, which is interesting because it’s superior to several of Statham’s previous theatrical films, but the propulsion is closer to a TV procedural than a big screen actioner. Director Elliot Lester attempts to liven things up with a few kinetic chase sequences, utilizing the music of techno group The Quemists and giving the action a grimy, contemporary feel, though he certainly sides with the somewhat irksome political views of Brant and Nash, who, at a certain point, throw legality to the wind in pursuit of their killer. In a movie where a major reporter is literally thrown to the wolves as a comedic punch line, it seems just about right. [C]

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Review, Blitz, Jason Statham, Paddy Considine


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates