Film Review: Bastille Day

Bastille Day

James Watkins’ Bastille Day is an adequately entertaining action thriller. Despite its flaws, the film is watchable.

Michael is an American pickpocket living in Paris. When he picks up the wrong bag, Michael is mistaken for a member of a terrorist group. With Bastille Day fast approaching, the CIA’s Briar is on a mission to track down Michael…

Bastille Day features many tropes of the action thriller; there are twists, double agents, and high-octane sequences. Director James Watkins’ film, written by Andrew Baldwin, seeks to evoke the spirit of classic action thrillers in a contemporary setting. The film is successful in its momentum and energy, but it is not without its flaws.

Bastille Day‘s plot focuses on a not irredeemable pickpocket and the CIA agent looking for terrorists in Paris. These characters are drawn in broad strokes; there is little nuance to these protagonists. The set up of the pickpocket who accidentally becomes embroiled in a terrorist plot works quite well because of its setting. The Paris setting is refreshing, if unnervingly prescient. Moreover, the film’s pacing is good; building to a strong momentum with the ticking clock of the holiday.

Dialogue in the Bastille Day is ranges from passable to awful. There are lines in the film that are wince-inducing. The narrative has some interesting facets, but it is hindered by a twist too many. Quite why Americans have to say the day – given that the film is set in France and stars British actors – may jar with some viewers. Action sequences have a level of freneticism, although they are not always well executed.

Idris Elba delivers a decent performance, but he is better than the material he is delivering. Richard Madden’s American accent is poor at times, whilst Charlotte Le Bon is decent as Zoe.

Bastille Day will be a fix for those looking for a standard action thriller, although it is rather forgettable.

Previews: Ant-Man Trailer, Irrational Man Trailer and More

Previews of forthcoming attractions this week include the latest Ant-Man trailer, Irrational Man, Steve Jobs

Ant-Man Trailer

Here is the latest Ant-Man trailer. The film looks like it will have a healthy dose of comedy, and given that the film is about an ant-sized superhero, this will be welcome. Starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, Ant-Man hits the big screen on 17th July 2015.

Irrational Man Trailer

Woody Allen’s latest film Irrational Man stars Joaquin Phoenix as a philosophy professor who  gets caught in a love triangle with two women. Emma Stone returns for her second performance in an Allen film whilst it is the first for Parker Posey and Joaquin Phoenix. Irrational Man opens in UK cinemas on 11th September 2015.

Steve Jobs Trailer

Here is the debut trailer for Steve Jobs. The film comes with quite a pedigree; it is directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, and stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen. Steve Jobs will be released in UK cinemas on 13th November 2015.

The Walk Poster

The Walk poster

The Walk is based on the true story of a man who walked between the two World Trade Centre towers in New York. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon and Ben Kingsley, and is directed by Robert Zebecks. The Walk hits the big screen on 2nd October 2015.


The Rocky franchise gets another instalment, albeit with a bit of a difference. Michael B. Jordan stars as the son of Apollo Creed, and sees Sylvester Stallone reprise his role as the boxing legend. Creed also reunites Jordan with his Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler. Creed is set for release on 27th November 2015.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl Trailer

The Diary of a Teenage Girl has already won praise at film festivals this year. The film is about a teenage girl growing up in San Francisco in the 1970s. Starring Bel Powley, Kirsten Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, The Diary of a Teenage Girl will hit the big screen in the UK on 7th August 2015.


New comedy Masterminds tells the true story of a group of idiots who pulled off a $17 million heist. The film stars Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Own Wilson and Jason Sudeikis. Masterminds will hit UK screens on 7th August 2015.