In director James Watkins’ spy thriller Bastille Day, Idris Elba makes a strong case for the title of slickest modern day spy – and god help anyone who gets in this man’s way.
Elba brings his trademark cool to the role of CIA field operative Sean Briar, playing a man who speaks in the form of direct and brutal action. This all-action approach marks Briar as an instantly memorable character, and provides a great collision course of tension with Richard Madden’s street smart pickpocket Michael Mason. As Mason, rising film star Madden really plays up a street punk attitude, presenting a character who’s unashamedly out for himself. Elba and Madden make for a great screen pair, and there’s a real oddball buddy cop flavour between the two that’s fun to watch.
While Elba and Madden shine in their respective roles, it’s Watkins’ handling of the spy genre that really makes Bastille Day an awesome watch. From its highly unconventional and revealing opening to the in-your-face-action scenes, it’s clear the director knows how to put on a good show. There are plenty of twists and turns, and some very unexpected shocks, and even veteran thriller fans won’t be able to guess what happens next.
While many have called for Elba to take on the role of James Bond, I’m frankly keen to see him return as Briar for future adventures. This character and the world he inhabits feels fresh and fun, and Elba wastes no time getting the audience hooked.
If you’re an action fan in need of an adrenaline fix, then buy a ticket to Bastille Day, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Image: Studio Canal