Film Review & Trailer: Bastille Day

bastdayFrances Winston enjoyed this action flick, which was not big-budget, and was all the better for it!

Directed by: James Watkins – Starring: Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon, Eriq Ebouaney, José Garcia, Kelly Reilly

Set in Paris, France, this action-thriller sees Elba playing CIA agent, Sean Briar, who is part of a team that observes activities in the city, but doesn’t get involved. However, when four people are killed in a bomb attack, it appears terrorists are at large, and he goes in search of the main suspect, Michael Mason (Madden).

However, Mason is just a petty thief who has accidentally been sucked into a much bigger plan, and he is now being pursued by the real criminal masterminds. In trying to protect him and find a girl named Zoe (Le Bon) who can help them find the real terrorists, Briar finds himself pursued by potential assassins, much to the chagrin of his bosses. But when he learns how deep the corruption runs, it looks like there is literally no way out for any of them.

This doesn’t have the budget of some other high-profile action flicks, and it shows – in a good way. Everything is just a bit grittier, a bit dirtier. There is a rooftop chase scene that is truly thrilling, as you do believe that they could fall at any point. Madden is completely sleazy as Mason, while Elba is – well Elba. He pretty much plays the same character we’ve seen a hundred times – the troubled, righteous, rebel – but if it ain’t broke… The best performance here actually comes from Le Bon, as the naïve Zoe, a mere dupe in a bigger plan, who is struggling to come to terms with her actions.

Although the script is a bit hit and miss (which is exacerbated by a complicated plot) and the soundtrack doesn’t always fit the action, this remains watchable – mainly because of the interaction between Elba and Madden. The pacing moves just fast enough that you don’t get bored, and there are some impressive scenes.

Despite its flaws, this is an engaging action flick that won’t quite have you on the edge of your seat but will pique your curiosity until the end. Not completely high octane, but a decent thrill ride that should satisfy fans of the genre, and entertain most cinema-goers.

In Cinemas Now!

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