Michael Mason, a pickpocket living in Paris, steals a bag with a teddy bear in it. Not realizing the toy contains a timed bomb, he tosses it aside on a busy street. A few seconds later it explodes, killing four people. CCTV footage reveals Mason's face and the French police tag him as a terrorist threat. The explosion, although botched, was set up by a select group of the French Interior Ministry as a decoy so they can make a half billion dollar digital transfer from a bank (closed on French National Day) -- hence the title Bastille Day. In a separate CIA investigation the unruly agent Sean Briar discovers the real story behind Mason's "terrorist attack". The two men, on different sides of the law, collaborate to bring the corrupt members of the Ministry down.Written by
Director James Watkins' first point of reference for the film was the New York films of the 1970s and 1980s such as Serpico (1973), Prince of the City (1981), and The French Connection (1971). Watkins said: "They're very much grounded in the moment and have that really gritty feel and I was looking to marry that with bigger American production values." See more »
When Idris is introduced in the opening scene, his tie is a single knot, however once his meeting begins it's turned into a classic double knot!. See more »
A solid action thriller with no real political baggage! Enjoy
This film (unfortunately) is most famous because it was set to come out at the same time as a Islamic terrorist attack in France, and one of the reasons I waited a while to watch this film was because I was wary of how Muslims would be portrayed in it etc. Let me without spoilers tell you this film is almost entirely unpolitical, with the 'Islamic threat' so far down the radar it can't even be said to be a theme.
Now on to the film! Do you like Idris Elba? If you don't, stop reading this review and never watch this film. This is his film. He plays a bad-ass CIA agent (there is an irony of a British actor playing a CIA man stationed in France) who does not like to follow rules, and he is on the trail of a master pick pocket (Richard Madden) who gets wrapped up in a plot to blow up France. Cliché, yes, but the film does avoid some obvious ones, surprising pleasantly at some points.
Elba is menacing, cool and always fantastic, and all of his co-stars pull their weight, but none are particularly likable, and they just have very little chemistry together. But, this is an action, thriller, so who really cares about that. The action is solid, but not mind blowing. The balance between action and thriller is about right, and the director does not get distracted with too many side characters or plots.
This is about as standard a movie as you can get, with the only real plus being Elba. He needs to do more action movies, he needs to be the next Bond. 6.5, but IMDb won't let me give it that score so I bump to a 7 on Elba's performance!
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