Michael Mason, a pickpocket living in Paris, steals a bag with a teddy bear in it. Not realizing the toy contains a timed bomb, he tosses it aside on a busy street. A few seconds later it explodes, killing four people. CCTV footage reveals Mason's face and the French police tag him as a terrorist threat. The explosion, although botched, was set up by a select group of the French Interior Ministry as a decoy so they can make a half billion dollar digital transfer from a bank (closed on French National Day) -- hence the title Bastille Day. In a separate CIA investigation the unruly agent Sean Briar discovers the real story behind Mason's "terrorist attack". The two men, on different sides of the law, collaborate to bring the corrupt members of the Ministry down.Written by
Playing the American petty thief Michael Mason who inadvertently becomes embroiled in a huge conspiracy when he blithely robs a young French woman is Scottish actor Richard Madden. With Idris Elba in place as Sean Briar, it was a challenge to find an actor to play Michael Mason who would match Elba's formidable screen presence. Director and co-screenwriter James Watkins explained: "Michael is a tricky role. He could be very unlikable because he's essentially a guy that steals from people and ruins people's lives. At his audition, Richard brought charm but also danger to the character and was able to walk the line between those two facets with incredible subtlety." See more »
During the transportation of Sean Briar, Michael Mason and Zoe, the driver gets shot and the van rams some parked cars, during which the van appears to be totaled with a broken front axle; however they keep driving and the shot after it hits the Audi shows an undamaged van, after which it's damaged again in the last shot. See more »
[to Briar after he holds an apartment door open for some women]
See? You can be warm. You're like a different person when you smile.
See more »
I am not speaking frivolously when I say that overall, although produced with a fraction of the budget, this is a much better film than the fourth Bourne.
* great opener -- film opens with a dramatic situation that immediately grabs the viewers' attention. You have "connection" from the getgo.
* great script --- many layers and twists. Clever dialog. (At one point the bad guys gloat about how they are manipulating "the hashtags" -- thereby dissing an entire generation. Another line of dialog refers to the use of "action and reaction" to achieve their end -- which is a very sophisticated dig at how politics are managed today.)
* Director writer Watkins know to keep things interesting, you are never bored.
* Elba is nothing short of awesome. Other reviewers are saying he could be a major international action figure. Agree!
Solid entertainment, does not take the viewer for granted, and the clever story keeps you hooked.
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