Bastille Day

Out Now On-Demand

With law comes disorder.

Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) is a hard-as-nails cop in this crime drama who recruits a small-time thief (Richard Madden, Game of Thrones) to help catch a bigger fish.

Michael Mason (Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realises that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption.


Directed by

Written by



Rating: M Action violence, coarse language and nudity

France, USA


Aaron Yap


With all this wishful talk of Idris Elba making a great next Bond, who knew, he would be even more suited to taking the mantle of Jason Statham? Bastille Day offers adequate evidence of this, casting Elba’s towering, hulking physique in a punchy, if not particularly ambitious, showcase while slipping him pithy one-liners to offset how scary he can actually be.

It’s the sort of unremarkable, by-the- numbers, borderline-DTV fare that Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp are fond of cranking out, but there’s also something comforting in its utter absence of narrative surprise. The film functions as an agreeable between-tentpoles tonic for anyone who fears low-to- mid-budget actioners have now been completely crowded out from the big screen.

The plot is hilariously stupid, a terror-themed, torturously elaborate contrivance from the 24/Homeland playbook that would fall apart the minute you think about it (there’s even a Mr Robot-style subplot involving riot incitement via hashtags). Fortunately, director James Watkins (The Woman in Black) -- who still has a long way to go to shooting spatially coherent setpieces -- paces the film with a swift purposefulness, never allowing things to quieten down too much until the next time we see Elba shoot or bash someone in the face.

Late Stark brother Richard Madden, as the wrong-place- at-the- wrong time pickpocket whom Elba’s CIA operative is buddied up with, struggles to match his co-star’s charisma. Their repartee, often trading quips about their respective rogue methods, strains for comic relief. A serviceable-enough vehicle for Elba, but now he’s more than proven his action chops, let’s put him in the next Mad Max or something.

Empire (UK)


It rarely makes sense... but you’re never bored.

Guardian (UK)


It’s a bit silly maybe, with a plot that requires you to overlook the implausibility of a certain smartphone with no passcode protection. But there is a nifty premise.

Telegraph (UK)


The thing actually docking this unpretentious ride is a nagging shortage of charm...

Variety (USA)


It’s Watkins’ lean, keen instinct for choreographing and cutting action set pieces that keeps Bastille Day afloat.

Hollywood Reporter


A shoddy blend of V for Vendetta and Mr. Robot but without the budget bandwidth or style of either.

Time Out London


If you’ve ever fantasised about a Luther-Robb Stark crimefighting duo, look no further.

Independent (UK)


A cheesy but enjoyable Paris set thriller which underlines Idrs Elba's fast rising credentials as an action hero.

Enjoyable Enough

Went in not knowing anything at all about this movie so was surprised when I actually quite enjoyed it. Plot not very plausible but is funny at times and never leaves you with a boring part throughout the whole movie. Gosh Idris Elba always looks hot and so does Richard Madden in this one