An expert pickpocket (Richard Madden) finds himself the chief suspect in a terrorist bomb attack on Paris. His only hope is a tough maverick CIA agent played by Idris Elba whozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………..Oh sorry about that – i must have drifted off whilst trying to recall this films staggeringly unoriginal plot and muster any motivation to write this review.
Putting it bluntly, Bastille Day is one of those movies that is so generic and utterly by the numbers that its a wonder that it ever saw the inside of a cinema in the first place . Catastrophically failing on EVERY level to be even remotely interesting, engaging, or exciting it could of featured just about any action star on the planet (Van Damme, Seagal or Lundgren could have easily been in it and no one would have noticed) and then quietly been sent to the Tesco/Asda dvd bargain bin and never seen again.
But instead we have a bad tempered, grunting Idris Elba playing an American version of John Luther in a plot mostly lifted from Die Hard 3, all the while being marshalled by a clearly out-of-his-depth director who is obviously (and desperately) trying to invoke treasured memories of Lethal Weapon and Taken but instead manages to create completely flat set pieces , boring gun fights, crap car chases and hideously uninspiring fisticuffs – and as any fool knows – this aint the done thing when it comes to action films.
The only praise i can give to this debacle is reserved solely for Richard Madden who is actually quite good and proves an actor of quite considerable range in what is (like the film itself) a very generic sidekick role.
To say the least i am heartily sick and tired of studios trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to films like this – indeed if they are going to continuously go down that well trodden path ,then for God’s sake, take several lashings of inspiration from the likes of Sly and Arnie, get a decent script, a half talented director and throw in a bit of good old fashioned bone crunching violence – it really is that simple!
Oh yes – before i forget this film does have one highlight – that of big Idris “singing” the closing credits song -an ear mutilating noise that sounded like Lee Marvin, a grizzly bear and a big bag of gravel being churned up in a cement mixer.
I am now off to watch my newly bought Force Awakens Blu Ray and try and forget that i ever saw this steaming pile of celluloid vomit.
Author: Will Strong