Bastille Day review

An American pickpocket with a past and a CIA agent with no limits find themselves teaming up to stop a terrorist conspiracy in Paris. This fast-paced action flick is a return to the buddy cop genre of the 80’s, films like 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon, with it’s action sequences, odd couple banter, and a desperate plan to save the day. Perhaps this film won’t go down in history as a true classic like the films it’s inspired by, but this film ticks all the right boxes for an excellent night of cinema.

Idris Elba is Briar, a CIA agent stationed in Paris and known for his devil may care approach to danger. Richard Madden is the pickpocket who accidentally picks the wrong bag, and ends up blowing up a train station and killing four people. Initially pursued by Briar, the two soon team up when they realize that there’s more going on than meets the eye, and that the French police are not on their side.

Into this mix is thrown the beautiful activist Zoe, the girl whose bag contained the bomb, and who was used by the terrorists. They have to find her before the bad guys do, and find our what she knows that might help them unlock what’s really going on.

I can’t really fault this movie, and it is an entertaining ride. But there’s something a bit odd about two Brits playing Americans. Their accents are good, but it just doesn’t feel real somehow, it doesn’t quite work. Perhaps that’s why sometimes the banter falls slightly flat, tries slightly too hard. I think this is what makes the film good but not great. 

However, with some excellently choreographed action, a fight in a moving police van being a highlight, and some pretty good chemistry between the two leads, it’s definitely a fun ride and should satisfy your craving for Elba and excitement.

bastille day 2016 movie embed

Hermione Flavia is a Screenjabber contributor

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