BASTILLE DAY

James Watkins / Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon / Action / 2016 / 15 / 92mins

A bomb goes off in Paris and, surprisingly, ISIS aren’t claiming it. Idris Elba is on the case.

An edgy-as-fuck Iraq War veteran, CIA agent Sean Briar (Elba) corners American pickpocket Michael Mason (Richard Madden) and an unlikely partnership forms to find the bombers and the deeper, darker plan that is close to fruition.

James Watkins seems to enjoy creating a frivolous action experience. The trailer moneyshot – aka ‘the rooftop chase scene’ – is a highlight, as are the majority of the fight scenes. In fact, they’re well shot and edited. The drama, however – the bumbling threads of plot scattered throughout – are left wanting, are seriously underdeveloped and, dare I say it, underperformed. This really is one of those ‘everything is in the trailer’ films. Which is a shame, considering Watkins’s previous film was The Woman in Black. A step backward, methinks.

In fairness, there’s a heavy twist that’s very unexpected which brings some much needed originality and relief from the plotline. It drew gasps from the audience, that’s how abrupt it was. Either it was great or they’re a lame crowd, and it’s probably the latter. It’s not a Bourne or a Die Hard, it’s not inventive and the CGI is fucking awful – I’ve seen better explosions on the SyFy channel.

But for its faults there are some saving graces: the choreography and Elba bossing it as a mean motherfucker. Some of the characters crack a few jokes too, but they’re pretty awful (why the fuck is there a terrorist hashtag?? WHY???) It reinforces the fact that Watkins went all out to film nothing more than a B-movie.

Idris Elba’s Bond audition is a cruisin’ & bruisin’ action caper that sees a CIA agent and a pickpocket in cahoots with a side portion of blockbuster cheese. Some painful moments overshadow what little brilliance there is.

Film as a Film – 2 / Target Audience – 3 / General Audience – 2

GRADE

C+

CLICK HERE FOR THE TRAILER

For more film & music gossip follow @THEMOVIEGUVNOR on Twitter, or like Harry Crawford on Facebook. Harry also writes for The Huffington Post.

For more information about the rating system, click here.

MAIN PICTURE:

By Source, Fair use, via Wikipedia.

This is a poster for Bastille Day (film). The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

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