Blitz (2011) a (mildly) belated review

When I was young, I was hyper-critical about movies.  There were precious few I felt were “perfect”, and even some of the better ones had flaws that just had to be pointed out…by me…to anyone willing to listen.

As I grew older, I adopted a far more mellow attitude.  I became more forgiving and, instead of starting to watch a film with a razor-sharp critical eye, I sat back and let the film envelop me as best as it could and tried to put my mind in neutral throughout the entire viewing experience.  After all movies, like all forms of entertainment, are made by people and nothing in this world is perfect.  Further, what may be brilliant to you could be terrible to someone else and vice versa.  Live and let live, enjoy what you can.  Don’t take these things so seriously.

Which brings me to the Jason Statham film Blitz.

What a terrible film.

Sorry but even my more mellow/forgiving attitude has its limit and Blitz crossed it.  I suspect going into making this movie the producers/writers/director had in mind the idea to re-make (in a way) Dirty Harry only set it in England and add more (uninteresting) characters to the mix.

The villain of the piece certainly operates on the same level of the Scorpio killer from Dirty Harry.  He is clearly a maniac, one who kills cops in this story (instead of anyone he feels like in Dirty Harry).  He calls a reporter to brag about what he’s doing/about to do (much like the Scorpio Killer left behind notes about who his next target would be), and even wants to be known by a nickname, Blitz (natch).  As the film marches on, he is eventually captured but because he’s oh so clever in how he does his crimes, he is eventually freed and comes back after our protagonist (something very similar happened in Dirty Harry as well, though the killer ultimately was released not because of his cleverness but because of Harry’s inappropriate actions).

Perhaps sensing they needed to do more than just emulate coughripoffcough Dirty Harry, the makers of this film added a homosexual new department head our protagonist works with (there is much homophobic-but-really-said-in-good-fun interaction between the two) as well as a female police officer who once worked undercover as a drug addict but fears she is really a drug addict working as a police officer now.  That side-plot never really goes anywhere, except that she almost falls victim to our villain.

I could go on and point out the fact that the film meanders when it should be tightly focused and that Jason Statham, an actor who I feel often is better than some of the lesser movies he’s sometimes starred in appears to be phoning his role in this time and that the villain, once he is captured by the police, should have stayed in prison (did no one in the police station notice the huge wad of cash he was carrying when captured, cash that a reporter gave to an informant who was subsequently -immediately!- killed, should have been enough to connect our killer to at least that particular killing?)…

What is perhaps most frustrating about the whole thing is that the film is certainly put together fairly well.  The cinematography and direction are generally pretty good and the actors appear competent.  But that story…I simply can’t figure out what anyone saw in this to make it worth their while.

Needless to say, I recommend anyone interested pass on Blitz.