“Blitz,” the British crime thriller from director Elliott Lester and the unstoppable force of nature that is Jason Statham, lands on DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States today. Based on a novel of the same name from Ken Bruen, “Blitz” follows the story of a disgruntled south east London detective sergeant (Statham) who finds himself on a collision course with Barry Weiss, a dark and disturbed cop killer operating under the self-dubbed moniker “Blitz.”
Check out an exclusive clip from “Blitz” in the video below, and keep on reading for five reasons you should check out the film.
Statham plays Brant, an hard-drinking and hard-hitting cop who always gets what he wants — and when he doesn’t, there’s hell to pay. A combined force of nature, fists and other assorted blunt instruments, Brant ranks high in Statham very own hall of badass fame, an intensely watchable (if not always sympathetic) antihero from beginning to end. It’s a role that I’d love to see him in again and again.
Not enough can be said for Aidan Gillen and his performance as cop killer Barry Weiss. Gillen has plotted and planned on screen most famously on “Game of Thrones” and “The Wire,” but Littlefinger and Carcetti can step aside; Weiss is a schemer of a whole different color, a deeply disturbed individual who you’d never ever hope to meet. Gillen certainly presents a character you’ll feel very strongly about, if nothing else. Often reckless, rarely careful and always unflinching in his blood-soaked end game, Gillen gives us one of the year’s very best bad guys.
The Killing Joke
Strong as they are on their own, these two characters are even more powerful in relation to one another. At the core of “Blitz” is, from my point of view at least, a story akin to classic Batman/Joker tales: an “I made you and you made me” type of yarn with a few very important differences. Watchng Brant and Weiss square off with their opposite but no less dangerous skill sets makes for the film’s most fascinating sequences, particularly one that could have been a literal train wreck.
Because the cop and the killer are so firmly at the center of the film, the viewer loses all of the whodunit mystery in the process. Instead, director Lester lets you in on everything our hero and villain are up to, keeping the camera squarely focused on them in their boldest mments as well as their most private and often darkest ones. Lester’s direction is impressive, if not always easy to watch — but the pang in your gut, that unyielding sense of dread, is very much part of the point.
A History of Violence
In a word, “Blitz” is brutal. It is not only a blood bath of hardcore violence and physical destruction, it also puts the depths of human depravity and psychosis under the microscope. You often won’t feel comfortable with what you see — in fact, you might not even like it much of the time. But through all the cringing and urges to look away, you’ll find a movie that stabs you with dread in ways that few others have this year. If that sounds like your cup of tea — or, if you’re Brant, your table-side wake-up glass of scotch — then I can’t recommend the movie more highly.
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