I watched Jason Statham star in Chaos on Sunday night but don’t remember as much from the film as I would like so I didn’t write a review. To make up for it, I scrolled through my Netflix history for films I watched but didn’t review. I give you the cop-killer film, Blitz, starring Jason Statham yet again.
I’m obsessed with the guy’s accent, the power he can bring to a few lines of dark humor and the burlesque films he continually stars in. If you have no idea what burlesque is, that’s okay. I didn’t either. I’m trying to learn new words lately and expand my vocabulary.
Statham’s films have that mocking gumption flavor to them but Blitz plays a stark contrast to Statham’s previous work.
One of Statham’s more memorable introductions is featured in Elliott Lester’s 2011 British crime thriller. I don’t know why but for some reason, this film seems so much older than that. It’s got a 90’s feel to it and perhaps that’s because the script seems so barren, the story so predictable and the acting so devoid of life.
Perhaps that’s being a little harsh but when I first saw Blitz on TV, I hated it. I watched it a second time with my roommate, Jon, during the fall semester and still wasn’t wild about it. I gave it a third try and I’m done with it. It’s just not my cup of tea.
Detective Sergeant Tom Brant has anger management issues, but he’s also really good at his job: getting thugs behind bars. He’s tested when someone starts targeting cops. It’s up to Brant to catch the perp and do it before he finds himself in front of the barrel.
It’s basic enough but not very complicated or intriguing and the cast list doesn’t instill much confidence either which is both this film’s downfall and Statham’s seemingly impassable barrier to becoming a brighter star on the Hollywood strip.
Statham is a hard-working actor that guarantees a genuine attempt at making a film all its own, but he doesn’t have the acting flair required to carry a great film on his shoulders. He’s one of the better action stars of the past decade and some of the stunts this guy pulls off are gravity-defying. It’s when the compass begins to point up and Statham attempts a film out of his genre that the windows fog over.
Crime thrillers are built on a story’s suspension, its ability to remain aloft and out of reach but still appeal to our sense of intrigue while it plays puppeteer upstairs. Thrillers are meant to toy with our minds and thrill us, hence the term thriller. Thrillers are meant to be manipulative. If you watch a thriller and aren’t thinking about it a few minutes after watching it, then the thrill wasn’t there, the thriller didn’t thrill and the film failed at its primary purpose.
Lester seems decided on exploring a variety of topics in his film but runs away from them as soon as he opens the envelope like a kid jumping in and out of puddles or an artist trying to dab his paintbrush in all the colors on his palette. We’ve got drugs, alcoholism and police brutality and rather than have a few minutes to decide how the audience feels about all these things, we’re swung through a drive-thru of cinema and they’re onto the next customer before they served the first one.
For example, there’s a scene where Brant goes to visit one of the new inspectors, Sergeant Porter Nash (Paddy Considine) and confides to him that he’s losing it, that he’s blacking out. Nash tells a personal tale and Brant falls asleep during it for comedy reasons. The discussion of Brant’s “losing it” and “blacking out” is never brought up again. Why’s it in there then?
Blitz teases audiences with relevant material but then, like a bratty sixth-grader, laughs in our face for believing him and instead hands us some more toothless dialogue and unrelated subplots.
Statham’s never given the chance to flex or demonstrate his forte: action sequences. Aside from a long chase scene where Statham shows us he can run and do a little parkour, Statham’s experience as a stuntmaster is never utilized. The stunts are sometimes the only entertainment you can get from a Statham film and Lester finds a way to steal that enjoyment from us, too.
Statham’s got some fun quips and jabs here and there to throw around but there’s no diversity to his character.
The subplots are a waste of time and our villain, played by Aidan Gillen, is a punk. The concept of a character not giving a crap works but the execution here is porous. Gillen is not a talented enough actor to pull this off.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable Guy, The Cabin in the Woods, Tears of the Sun, Edge of Tomorrow, The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Erased, I, Frankenstein, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Billy Madison)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Centurion, Planet of the Apes, Stonados, Redemption, Pride and Prejudice)
20-29 What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Colony, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, The Grey, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Thor: The Dark World)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Sabotage, Gallowwalkers, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Safe, Watchmen)
My score for Blitz: 57.
It might say crime thriller on the cover, but Blitz never gets to the point of thrilling anyone. The acting aside from Statham struggles, the villain is out of his league and undercut, the film fails to take advantage of Statham’s stunt aptitude, the subplots are excessively horrid, especially the acting from Zawe Ashton, and there was a need for a stronger costar to stand alongside Statham. Luke Evans was present but given an off-the-street role. Basically, this review is short because I’m tired of devoting any more of my time to this.