Movies From the Black Lagoon: Blitz
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Blitz - 2011, Rated R
By Tom Doty
Weekly Contributing Writer
A mismatched pair of London policeman team up to stop a serial killer targeting cops in this in this crime drama from across the pond.
An ace sequence gets things started when a man confronts three youths breaking into a car. The boys think they have the situation well in hand until the guy attacks them with a wooden curling bat. They wind up in all kinds of pain but their assailant is the one in trouble as he is a policeman. His name is Brant and he has given the department so many black eyes that it doesn't even bother to duck anymore. Instead they hand him an investigation into the murder of a patrolwoman.
In another effort to clean up their image the department brings in a new leader, Porter. The investigation leads Brant to a thug named Weiss. He is one of those guys with a sheet as long as your arm. He enjoys inflicting pain on others but he is so oily that the investigation can't pin anything on him.
Things get more complicated when the killer phones in his deeds to a reporter, in one instance while he is committing the crime. Brant blows an opportunity to win over a snitch due to his brutal methods. The snitch opts to go to the same reporter with evidence on Weiss. Unfortunately Weiss picks up on the situation and kills the snitch in a men's room where he has gone to count his blood money.
Meanwhile Brant and Porter eventually figure out that Weiss is their man. They find his hideout and this sequence leads to the best foot chase a film has in quite a while. Brant scampers after Weiss through streets, back alleys, and a highway before the chase terminates at the famed Paddington Station.
Weiss proves too slippery to keep in custody. He is doubly determined to get Brant upon his release. The cops must keep away from him, as the media will view this as harassment. It all leads to a tense showdown in a remote parking garage that finds Weiss stalking Brant but nothing is as it seems. Stick around and you'll be treated to a nasty conclusion that comes very close to making a case for justifiable homicide.
We need more movies like this one and they have been absent since the swinging seventies. They made some meaty cop dramas back then that featured all the trademarks of good action movie. There were car chases to beat the band (The French Connection), real life dramas (Serpico) and tough team ups ("Hickey and Boggs" and "Cops and Robbers"). This effort brings back that feeling that anything can happen in the film. Cop films lost a lot of that when they became buddy flicks in the 80's but this flick brings back the urban grit and melodramatic plotting that took a back seat spectacular action sequences once 'Lethal Weapon" came along.
This one gets points for coming from a book by Ken Bruen. He has been writing 70's like British pulp novels for ten years. His books have been homage to the better crime movies and this adaptation looks like a time capsule that could have shared a double bill with "Freebie and the Bean." The movie also benefits from a sturdy cast that top lines Jason Statham as Brant. Though he is known for showier action flicks this guy got his start in low budget crime drams like 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Paddy Considine is also very good as Brant's weary partner who has come to terms with being a homosexual police officer and is biding time while society catches up. Aiden Gillen nails the villain role and turns Weiss into the kind of psychopath whose death earns a round of applause. He is as mean spirited as Andy Robinson was when he hijacked a school bus in the original "Dirty Harry." Here's hoping they adapt more books from this series.
"If you're picking the wrong fight at least pick the right weapon."
"This is a hurler, used in the Irish game of hurling. A cross between hockey and murder."
"I want a lawyer and a sandwich."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.