Saturday 21 May 2011

"Blitz" (Metro 20/05/11)

Blitz (18) 97 mins **

The title refers to the nickname assumed by the serial cop killer in Elliott Lester’s grimly OTT Brit thriller, but it could also describe the bombardment of diverse acting styles Blitz unleashes: one early sequence brings Jason Statham face-to-face with Greatest Stage Actor of His Generation™ Mark Rylance. At last! On one side, there’s Statham’s DS Brant, an angry baked bean bouncing violently around his South London manor, and Paddy Considine, as the openly gay Inspector struggling to restrain this maverick. Over in the shadows, Aidan Gillen lurks in unflattering leisurewear as the fame-hungry psychopath, while David Morrissey – have you learned nothing from Basic Instinct 2, sir? – is the tabloid hack who comes to do the killer’s bidding.

Between a lot of clichés, elements of Blitz click. Statham and Considine’s cautious bonding suggests a fun, metrosexual Sweeney update, but it’s soon jostled out of the frame by underdeveloped subplots and supporting characters, and hardcore Stath fans will likely emerge disappointed by the ratio of growly tough talk to actual action. What’s left hurtles – like almost everything our Jase churns out – towards self-parody: it’s hard to take seriously the tut-tutting about the gutter press when the film diverts its one footchase through a knocking shop, and winds up wholeheartedly asserting the strong arm of the law. Leave it to DVD, if you must.

is on nationwide release.

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