Friday, 20 May 2011



We've not had a straightforward British cop movie for years. Apart from Hot Fuzz (which was a comedy), there's been Shoot On Sight (Jag Mundhra's contribution to the War On Terror genre) and there's nothing else that springs to mind since the two Sweeney movies and Cannon and Ball's The Boys In Blue (also a comedy, at least nominally, though I haven't actually seen it and am frankly wary of adding it to my rentals queue). But this is a tough, cheerfully aggressive action flick centred around London coppers with enough swearing and bloody violence to get it an 18 even with almost no sexual context. Sadly, it's far too pumped-up and strident and frankly just plain noisy.

Blitz is the self-bestowed nickname ("as in Blitzkrieg") of a particularly despicable piece of work played by Aidan Gillen who sets out to kill London police officers. Initially it's seen as a random spree, but is there a pattern in Blitz's selections? On the case are ultraviolent burnout Frank (Jason Statham doing the patented Jason Statham performance) and methodical but much-disliked Porter (Paddy Considine) - can they find Blitz and lock him up before he kills the eight cops he's promised to tabloid journalist Dunlop (David Morrissey)?

Blitz is rubbish: with Statham basically playing Dirty Harry in South East London, it's way down the list of Statham movies, never once coming close to the definitive Statham outing, the first Transporter. It feels like it was conceived by someone watching episodes of The Bill and The Sweeney while higher than the Mir space station on a cocktail of drugs and triple-strength caffeine: it's incredibly loud and thumpingly noisy in its violent action scenes. But despite the occasional cheerfully politically incorrect humour in the partnership between hardnut Statham and softie Considine, it's unlikeable and it's no fun. Moreover, the pacing's all over the place (after an initial flurry, there doesn't seem to be a lot of urgency in the hunt for the cop-killer) and there are detours into the sordid private life of one of Blitz's identified targets (who is left alone and unguarded after an initial attempt).

It's got a neat, if rushed, resolution, and one impressive action sequence, a foot chase across the rooftops and through the streets to Paddington Station, but Blitz is generally pretty mediocre: along the lines and on the level of the increasing numbers of DTV vehicles for Snipes, Seagal, Van Damme and Lundgren. It's tempting to ask why it's even in cinemas in the first place. Best left until DVD, if you really must.


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