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Stars: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aiden Gillen, Zawe Ashton, David Morrissey, Luke Evans, Ned Dennehy, Nicky Henson

Director: Elliott Lester

The most bog-standard of cop-killer crime thrillers, this is reminiscent of the monolithic action films Charles Bronson was making in the twilight of his career.

Here, it's Statham, as gruff and tough as ever, as Brant, a maverick London police sergeant in the Dirty Harry mould, who goes around beating up carjackers and other assorted miscreants with a hurley stick.

He's just getting a last warning from his boss (Henson) when the first of the cop murders occurs and Brant finds himself teamed with gay but equally uncompromising acting-Inspector Nash (Considine) to crack the case.

They're helped by a dishevelled snitch (a scene-stealing performance by Dennehy) and eventually ascertain that the killer, Blitz (Gillen), is targeting officers responsible for his various arrests in the past. Brant and Nash eventually run him to earth. But there's the matter of hard evidence...

Statham gives no indication that he'll ever enlarge his range, and the rest of the acting is unremarkable. Considine and Gillen are too remarkably similar in features, although both are better than Ashton, as a WPC out of rehab and on to Blitz's list, and the usually reliable Morrissey, uncomfortable with a South London accent as an unscrupulous newshound. There's lots of stick-wielding action, in dated Steven Seagal fashion, for those who relish that kind of thing.

David Quinlan

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour by deluxe.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 15 May 2011