Blitz (2011)

(On DVD, December 2011) If ever you find yourself wondering what sets Jason Statham apart from other actors specializing in action movies, look no further than the extra interest and energy he brings to this otherwise fairly routine police thriller.  A pure product of the British film industry, Blitz it technically slick and actually benefits from its London location: Compared to other comparable LA-based crime thrillers, it’s a welcome change of pace to see British policemen at work in a different environment.  As far as the plot is concerned, though, it’s the usual psycho-cop-killer routine, with an implausibly super-powered antagonist and policemen unable to counter him.  Added spice comes from the subplots; I assume that they reflect material from the eponymous Ken Bruen book on which the film is based.  The problem is that subplots that fit within a series book aren’t necessarily fit for transposition within a standalone film.  The best/worst example of this concerns a subplot featuring an arresting performance by Zawe Ashton: It’s a great piece of drama that would be integral to a TV series, but it doesn’t fit within the thriller framework of the film itself and, as such, doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.  If you don’t know that Blitz is adapted from an ongoing series, you may have trouble figuring out the extent of the characters’ developing relationships.  The fall-back position is the vicious police drama as headlined by Statham; never mind the fascistic position taken by the film’s “cop-killer versus killer-cop” attitude (everything can be blamed back to political correctness, as is usually the tendency with films of this sort)… it just seems like the kind of easy ending tacked-on to make everyone feel better.  As a film, Blitz isn’t too bad.  But it has a few rough edges that Statham’s typical performance can’t completely save.

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