Bastille Day

It is still rare to see a film where the characters use their own language rather than speaking English with a European accent. So, for its use of the French language alone, Bastille Day should be praised. The story centres on skilled pickpocket Michael (Richard Madden) who steals a handbag from terrorist mule Zoe (Charlotte Le Bon), not knowing there is a bomb inside. Moments after Michael dumps the bag, the bomb explodes, killing four people and making him a target of the real bad guys and police, who consider him a terrorist suspect. Through all the drama, it seems only CIA operative Brior (Idris Elba in a Jack Bauer type of role) is apparently good enough to get to the bottom of it. Bastille Day only runs for about 90 minutes but some scenes feel laboured and a lot of the plot details are far-fetched. Nonetheless, the story keeps viewers guessing and the action sequences are exciting. The appeal of Madden and Elba certainly elevates the film and I do wonder if it would have been as enjoyable with less impressive actors.