If there was ever an award for an opening scene to a film which perfectly summed up the maker’s manifesto for the rest of the running time, Blitz would take the grand prize. In it, star Jason Statham drags himself out of a whisky-induced slumber when he spies some young teenage thugs trying to break into his car. He swiftly and effortlessly dispatches of them with a hockey stick before delivering a knowingly corny wisecrack. Cue the credits…

Statham’s character ‘Brant’ is a detective sergeant who belongs in the Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars era of policing, where his sheer disregard for authority and hilariously outdated misogynistic and homophobic attitude would have been welcomed with a loving embrace. On the edge and teetering close to burning out, he’s teamed with a new station sergeant, Porter Nash (Paddy Considine, giving a performance in tune with the material he has to work with here) to catch a serial killer who is gunning down what appears to be random cop targets. As the killer is revealed, the two detectives race against the clock to bring him down before he strikes again.

Blitz is an attempt to transplant a down and dirty, American-style police thriller to the streets of London, right down to its (impressively) flashy visuals and risible, clichéd tough-guy dialogue. It’s a thoroughly trashy film with plot holes aplenty and the kind of character action and logic which only exists in a fantasy world on the big screen. Despite these flaws (which at times, threaten to undermine the more dramatic elements of the film), Blitz still manages to entertain, partially due to it’s astute awareness of exactly what kind of market it’s catering for, and also via the number of genuine laugh-out loud moments (intention or not) peppered throughout. It’s also amusing to see The Sun newspaper crop up anytime a senior member of the police expresses concern about the media getting wind of the serial killer’s next victim, as if the rag is the only source of news in the UK in this era.

Statham plays that same moody, gravel-voiced character you’ve seen numerous times before, but he still has that puzzlingly magnetic screen presence, particularly as he goes about his decidedly old-school, un-PC ways, like showing complete ignorance for the smoking ban, be it in a pub or sat in the immaculately-kept office of his chief inspector. At one point, he snarls back at a witness who enquires whether he’ll be taking a statement, “do I look like I carry a pencil?!?” Considine (saddled with the kind of ridiculous character name normally associated with the US action films Blitz takes a heavy cue from) is here to pay the bills and nothing more, as is another esteemed British thesp, David Morrissey, who has a thankless and scrawny role of a news reporter whom the killer decides to reveal himself to. The only actor to really giving it his all is Queer as Folk and The Wire veteran, Aiden Gillen. He’s fantastic as the unhinged and thoroughly creepy serial killer, who savours every moment in the limelight as the cops close in – an interesting character quirk which, unfortunately, is never fully explored.

A tired rainy funeral scene towards the end would appear to exist purely to have a nice-looking, over-the-head shot of officers opening up their umbrellas in unison, and the ending is particularly daft and nonsensical, betraying any character continuity, but despite this, if you’re in the mood for a mindless fun slice of escapism on a Friday night, Blitz may be the answer you’ve been looking for.