“A cross between hockey and murder!”
UK, France, US / 97 minutes / color / Davis, Current, Kushner/Wyman, Metropolitan, Lionsgate UK Dir: Elliott Lester Pr: Zygi Kamasa, Steven Chasman, Donald Kushner, Brad Wyman Scr: Nathan Parker Story: Blitz (2002) by Ken Bruen Cine: Rob Hardy Cast: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aidan Gillen, Zawe Ashton, David Morrissey, Ned Dennehy, Mark Rylance, Luke Evans, Nicky Henson, Steven Harwood-Brown, Ellie Fairman, Nabil Elouahabi, Joe Dempsie, Christina Cole, Martina Laird.
A relatively recent movie that’s an adaptation of a Ken Bruen novel is definitely something of interest to this site—especially since in the past months I seem to have been covering preponderantly vintage movies rather than the usual mixture of ancient and modern.
I should tell you at the outset that Blitz is probably not a movie to watch with your mom. (Yes, yes, I know, I know, your mom is the exception that proves the rule. But my mom would have had a fit.) The profanity’s ubiquitous—there’s plenty of the F word, the C word and just about every other type of word you can think of except the Guardian cryptic crossword. The sexual references are pretty prolific, too, although there’s no actual sex unless you’re really, really into violence.
Mark Rylance as Chief Inspector Bruce Roberts.
Brant is a Sarf East London maverick cop—which is to say, at least within the terms of this fiction, that he’s a cop who has severe anger-management problems and habitually uses brutality to solve, as he sees it, society’s problems—the Met’s very own John Bolton, in other words. In the opening moments we see him tackling three thugs who’re trying to break into a car:
“This, lads, is a hurler [hurley stick]. Used in the Irish game of hurley. A cross between hockey and murder.”
He proceeds to beat them senseless with the hurley stick. We know the kids are indeed thugs, not just because they’re armed with carpet knives but because they swear a lot—selfconsciously so, in fact, as if worried that their moms might be watching the movie. This isn’t to say that Brant objects to their language—everyone in this movie, moms included, uses much the same vocabulary and “heavens to Betsy” isn’t a part of it.
Nicky Henson as Superintendent Brown.
There’s a bit of a fuss about the three “innocents” having been beaten up by an off-duty copper, and Brant’s superior, Superintendent Brown (Henson), tells him to keep a Continue reading