Blitz (UK - BD RB)
Marcus watches Statham get about as close to being Batman as he'll ever get
Detective Sergeant Tom Brant (Jason Statham) is a cop with a reputation for beating down his suspects (or any criminal that crosses him). The papers are making a meal out of London’s hardened police force and Brant is beginning to feel like he’s burning out. Now with the cop killer known as Blitz (Aidan Gillen) taking down cops and the newspapers getting their hooks into another story, police officers close to Brant are dying and it looks like the pattern is leading to him.
If it wasn’t for Jason Statham being, well Jason Statham, and dropping great one liners like he’s working to meet a quota, Blitz wouldn't feel unlike a big screen outing for old UK TV show The Bill. This is all real world London, with good old fashion British coppers doing good old fashion British police work. Because of all that, Blitz bringing chaos to the city works wonders mainly due to the simplicity of his crimes (usually involving walking up to a police officer and shooting them point blank). Not only that but Aidan Gillen’s performance as the Johnny Rotten meets the Joker cop killer really feels like a threat. His mannerisms and oddness really make for a memorable character in the world of cop thrillers and weirdly the combination of out for justice Brant, his sergeant Porter Nash (played brilliantly by Paddy Considine) and the chaotic killer Blitz, this movie trio really reminded me of something else closer to my heart: Batman.
Other than how this all wraps up (which is not Batman at all) this trio really reminded me of The Dark Knight's set up. Considine does a perfect Commissioner Gordon to Statham’s (slightly too extreme) Batman. On top of that the city's nemesis Blitz (Christ, he even has a super villain name) has got the Joker's chaos about him in spades. I don’t know whether this is at all intentional but there’s a whole lot that echoes the comic book hero. The interrogation room scene is very reminiscent of the to and fro between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. Their past connections and how they fuel each other is rather similar and there were other small nuggets that kept triggering Bat-isms about this crime thriller that made Blitz more fun than I expected it to be.
That said it’s not perfect. The sub plot with Brant's co-worker/junkie PC Elizabeth Falls (Zawe Ashton) feels utterly tacked on to the more engaging threads and any time spent with her that doesn't involve Blitz was super dull. The last act also feels a little too thin and the gap between catching Blitz and him being let back out on the streets left the good pacing of the first two acts behind and felt a little aimless until the story wrapped itself up. At the end of the day this is another Jason Statham movie that I wound up enjoying despite its mixture of good stuff and silly stuff. Statham somehow walks away from this unscathed even though his character is thin. His one liners shouldn’t work but totally do work and the fact he once again plays exactly the same character he’s mastered in his last bunch of movies doesn't seem to effect his likeability at all. Blitz was a great Friday night action thriller and it’s down to earth approach and London setting was actually quite cool and it’s good to see a British film playing the Hollywood game and doing it well.
Blitz isn’t a stunning transfer but it’s certainly slightly above average. The image is bathed in deep shadows against warm lighting (certainly too warm for a London setting most of the time) and has quite a comic book look about it in the night scenes. Lots of purples, greens and golden lighting make it more akin to a big budget American movie world than a British crime thriller a lot of the time. Colours vary from natural to vivid and details such as Statham’s stubble and wrinkles look fantastic. Also noticeable is some of the seedy flats' wallpaper and set decorations and towards the end as raindrops hit the police officers uniforms you can almost see the droplets soak into fabrics which is quite impressive. The entire movie is pretty much grain free outside of the low lit night scenes and even though stylistically Blitz doesn’t look all that different to other films in its genre there’s no denying it’s a pretty looking face in the crowd.
From the opening credits it’s the punchy dancey score that’s sonic assault fills the speakers, rocking the bass and thumps you as hard a Statham thumps the gang at the start of the film. The more incidental score is a little less noticeable and simply hovers over the track but its still nicely spread. Dialogue is nice and strong with Statham’s growl sounding good throughout. Sound effects are also noticeably strong with chairs scraping across floors and gunshots all sounding very realistic. Overall the track has ups and downs but when the score, the action and the sound effects are all going at it the mix thumps like any good action flick should.
The only extra here is twenty-two minutes of deleted scenes (1080i) all of which are sub plots that were rightly ditched and would have ruined the flow of the movie.
Blitz was a lot of fun for a lot of reasons. Statham was brilliant despite not really fitting in with the world of the movie, Aidan Gillen was a great villain, Paddy Considine’s supporting role was very strong and seeing an action thriller with a London setting was really satisfying to see. The Blu-ray’s A/V is solid and makes for a punchy pretty actioner without losing any of the darkness in the story and it's really only the lack of extras that lets the release down.
* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 26th September 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Extras: Deleted Scenes
Easter Egg: No
Director: Elliot Lester
Cast: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aidan Gillen
Genre: Action, Crime and Thriller
Length: 97 minutes
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