Blitz is a misguided movie adaptation of one of the latter novels in Ken Bruen‘s excellent Brant series.
Jason Statham is miscast as the narcissistic and corrupt Brant.
There he is at left, with his superior, Roberts, at right. I visualized the heights and builds being reversed, with Roberts as tall and large and Brant as shorter and wiry.
That title card tells me Bruen had some approval power in this movie.
So, oh, I’m going to get it from him for this if we ever meet again.
Ken Bruen does not write like everyone else. But this movie is like everything else.
They took everything that makes Bruen’s writing special and stripped all of that out and then added steroids to pump it up into a Bruce Willis-like movie (hell, I’m certain Willis would have been cast as Brant had he been Statham’s age).
It totally missed the mark. The one funny scene isn’t funny at all (it is in the book), while the brutal scenes are just nauseating in their explicitness.
In the book series, Brant’s abuse of force is shown as having a motivation for justice (or at least order, although sometimes it’s just for his own damn good). Here, Brant is a hollow sociopath we can’t relate to. The sociopathic killer in fact has more personality than Brant.
All of the pacing is off too. In fact, there’s no pacing whatsoever. Scene gives way to scene to scene, with everything having a uniform flatness and no distinction. It’s the movie equivalent of repetitive-thumping Techno dance music, not the symphony of the book. There’s no way to get into this movie. It’s an assault. Even Die Hard, which was an outright roller coaster ride, had quiet moments and built to emotionally-satisfying crescendos. Nothing like that here. It’s too busy moving to the next thing, slavishly including the next bit from the book, whether it fits as a movie or not.
Anyone could have done this movie. There’s no Ken Bruen in it, despite Ken Bruen actually being in it:
Yeah, he has a bit part as “Irish Priest.” I recognized his voice well before he ever came on camera.
This is a British film production. Next time, it should be British — not try to imitate American film production.
London Boulevard remains the better Bruen adaptation. If someone had shown me that movie without any credits, I would have remarked it was like Ken Bruen’s writing.
But Blitz? No.