Bastille Day, the Paris-set spy thriller, promises viewers an adrenaline rush with spy stunts, terrorist plots, conspiracy theories, fight sequences, and rooftop chases. The Guardian reports that James Watkins, who directed the 2008 thriller Eden Lake, directs the movie in a more conventional way without serious dramatic content.
The film features Idris Elba, Richard Madden, and Kelly Reilly. According to Hollywood Reporter, for some mysterious reasons all the three actors are portrayed as Americans despite the fact that they are all British.
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Richard Madden, of Game of Thrones fame, plays Michael Mason, a young pickpocket in modern-day Paris who hangs out with the tourists to steal their wallets and watches. The pickpocketing spree is going well for him until he happens to steal a bag belonging to a beautiful young woman named Zoe, who turns out to be an accomplice of a terrorist group who wishes to blow up the French Nationalist Party headquarters by planting a time bomb. Zoe’s bag contains a ticking time bomb, which is stuffed inside a teddy bear. Without knowing the real contents of the bag, Michael abandons it beside a bin thinking that there aren’t any valuables inside, and when it detonates, Mason finds that he has unknowingly killed four persons.
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The security cameras capture Mason planting the bomb, and his photo is soon broadcasted across the nation. Mason is now on the run, and he tries to conceal his identity by wearing a stolen jacket and a pair of filched sunglasses. However, he is tracked by an outrageously macho CIA agent, Briar, played by Idris Elba, who is hot on Mason’s trail.
Meanwhile, the terrorist gang uses some smart gadgets to track Mason down to an apartment where Briar has kept the pickpocket. Taking note of the difficult situation and becoming aware of the terrorist conspiracy, the CIA tough guy and the pickpocket team up to bust the terrorist plot and foil the sinister conspiracy. The dynamic duo soon embarks on an anti-terrorist mission that gets them involved in elaborate fight scenes and rooftop chases. The unlikely duo enlists the help of Zoe to locate and fight against the terrorists, who are not motivated by religious zealotry or even politics.
Bastille Day shows the spies using ultra-high-tech surveillance equipment which enables them to be one step ahead of the French security forces working under the French Ministry of Homeland security.
The movie shows aerial views of Paris in various scenes to add scope and to exploit the city’s natural photogenic qualities. Idris Elba, the suave East Londoner with a natural masculine quality, gets into the role of CIA operative with terrific perfection. And apart from his acting skills, the audience gets to witness his singing skills, with the actor’s collaboration with Fatboy Slim played at the end of the Bastille Day movie when the end credits start rolling, although fans could easily leave the cinema at this point without realizing that it was Idris Elba himself performing the song.
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Additionally, Idris Elba performed all his own stunts in Bastille Day, including the rooftop chases, without using a stunt double to perform even the most dangerous stunts. Even though the personalities of the two protagonists in the movie are in contrast to each other, the two actors who portrayed them admit that they enjoyed a good camaraderie on the sets of the movie.
And even though his character in Bastille Day is supposed to be super serious, Idris Elba couldn’t stop cracking up when he was interviewed along with Richard Madden. The success of the movie can be attributed to the surprisingly good chemistry between the two of them. Bastille Day, which would otherwise have been a perfectly ordinary movie, was turned into an interesting story between two unlikely companions due to the obvious chemistry between the two actors.
[Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]