This is the hard part.
Jason Statham and Paddy Considine hunt a cop-killer through the streets of London. That’s basically it. Other things happen, of course, but none of them are particularly pleasant.
This film can’t seem to make its mind up whether it wants to glorify or condemn police brutality. In the first scene, The Stath comes down from his flat when he sees three young guys trying to steal a car, and instead of arresting them, he beats the shit out of them with a hurling stick, yet later it is revealed that his punch first ask questions never approach is what arguably caused the wave of killings in the first place. The killer himself, played with manic glee (but mostly without shirts) by Aiden Gillen, was just a small time loser before Statham took delight in beating up in a snooker hall.
The saving grace in this ugly film is, yes you’ve guessed it, Paddy Considine. Staffordshire’s finest plays the new Inspector supervising the investigation, who also happens to be gay. When he first arrives at the station there’s some homophobic graffiti and a few snide comments, but that gets somewhat forgotten as soon as His Stathness declares his respect for him as a good cop. Of course he also has the de rigeur dark past which comes back into play as we reach the climax.
Among the supporting cast, Zawe Ashton (from St Trinians 2!) does well as a young cop back in uniform after two years undercover in a drug investigation, but her character is ill-served by stock story beats and a romantic subplot that just feels trite. David Morrisey brings some delightful weaseliness however, as the reporter contacted by Gillen to tell his story in a deliberate reference to the Zodiac Killer.
It is clear Blitz just wants to be Dirty Harry, but it’s not the Seventies any more. And Statham is no Clint.
For Statham completists only.