There’s something cringey about British films trying to play Hollywood at their own game. We’ve got a fine tradition of thrillers in this country, we don’t need to pack them full of CIA switcheroos, mismatched buddy antics and homegrown TV stars with ropey Noo Yoik accents tossing out quips like ‘You really should think about anger management!’.
In ‘Bastille Day’, Idris Elba stars as a loose-cannon CIA hotshot rampaging through Paris on the trail of an American pickpocket (Richard Madden, aka Robb Stark from ‘Game of Thrones’), the lead suspect in a terrorist bombing. Of course, it’s not long before they figure out who the real bad guys are.
The plot makes next to no sense – there’s a thread involving anarchist hashtags that’ll have you hooting. But that’s just about forgiveable when both leads are clearly having a blast, and some of their awkward banter is genuinely funny. Director James Watkins never quite gets to grips with the action scenes, but ‘Bastille Day’ moves at such a clip that it’s never boring. The problem is that it all feels like a sixth-form production of the Bourne series. Still, if you’ve ever fantasised about a Luther-Robb Stark crimefighting duo, look no further.