Between ‘Zootropolis’ and ‘The Jungle Book’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that Idris Elba had completely abandoned live action films for animations and voice performances. ‘Bastille Day’ reassures us that Elba isn’t just going to live his career out in a sound booth, although with his past voice performances this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. ‘Bastille Day’ also stars that dude from ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Cinderella’, Richard Madden.
Elba is certainly good casting here, he can carry the heavy action that this film requires and he’s believable in the scenarios. It’s just a shame that the writing and script for his character are so poor. Richard Madden also suffers a similar fate here with his dialogue being truly awful and as a result I don’t think he was able to give a very strong performance. There is a forced awkward buddy cop dynamic between the two characters and it just doesn’t work. It’s been done so many times before and better most times. As well as this the stupid comedy present just doesn’t work when the subject matter is terrorism. The cast member who probably comes off the best is Charlotte Le Bon. Her character is the most realistic and is the only one to get on how a real person would in these characters positions. I’m afraid she can’t quite save or carry the film which is weighed down by the wooden performances caused by an awful script.
The narrative itself has problems too, the biggest one is probably just how predictable it is. You see everything coming ages before it arrives and the story unveils some things far too soon removing any possible suspense or intrigue that could have been achieved. Subsequently the ninety minute run time dragged by at a snails pace and will leave audiences wondering what is filling all the time. One thing that ‘Bastille Day’ did have going for it was it’s action. Sometimes this varied in quality, even within contained set pieces but on a whole I thought it was well done. Thanks to Elba these scenes had force and really did pack a punch. I found myself really quite enjoying the film when the action was unfolding, the problems for ‘Bastille Day’ arose when the action stopped and the actors opened their mouths. Oh and the less said about that track playing over the credits the better…
‘Bastille Day’ isn’t an awful action film but it’s largely forgettable especially when we’ve just had the unique ninety minute action adventure ‘Hardcore Henry’. The cast rarely impress but it not entirely their fault with stupid characters to portray and terrible lines to read. One thing that makes the film watchable are its action scenes, these aren’t the best or most impressive action scenes you’ll see but they are fun enough to engage you and get you through the film.
Rating – 5/10
Question: What is your favourite Idris Elba performance?
(Leave your answers in the comments below!)
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