Naming action films after national holidays: It isn't just for Americans (see Independence Day and the upcoming Independence Day: Resurgence, among other examples).
So says the new trailer for Bastille Day, an action film made by and mainly starring British filmmakers and actors, backed by American studio money and set in France. Idris Elba (Luther), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), Charlotte Le Bon (The Walk), Eriq Ebouaney (3 Days to Kill) and José Garcia (Now You See Me) star for director James Watkins, previously best known for helming the Daniel Radcliffe horror vehicle, The Woman in Black.
Bastille Day's title refers to a huge protest taking place timed to French national holiday that appears to figure prominently in the plot. You can read the film's official synopsis, below:
Michael Mason (Richard Madden, Game Of Thrones) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself in the hands of the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba, Avengers: Age Of Ultron), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale criminal conspiracy in the heart of the police force. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr chase ensues, the unlikely duo discover they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.
There's not a lot that looks especially new here based on the Bastille Day trailer, with the cop/crook buddy dynamic familiar from 48 Hours and its descendants - and Elba on hand to get his cut of the Liam Neeson "respected older male actor who can beat you up" action hero pie; the action does look crisp though, while the leads seem to have decent chemistry. Basic-plotted action films are often fertile ground for filmmakers to stretch themselves as technicians and for otherwise serious actors to show off physical prowess - and if nothing else, Bastille Day should connect with audiences better than the similar John Travolta/Johnathan Rhys Meyers team-up thriller, To Paris With Love.
Bastille Day comes amidst a busy year for Elba, who's set to appear in a wide variety of feature film releases in 2016. He's providing the voice for Shere Khan the tiger in Disney's live-action remake of The Jungle Book, in addition to providing the vocals for Chief Bogo in Zootopia and an un-announced character in Pixar's Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory. In the realm of live action, he'll be playing the alien villain Krall in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, too. He's also slated to make a tripe back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Thor: Ragnarok, which begins filming this year - and, rumor has it, will feature an expanded role for Elba's returning character, Heimdall.
The film was produced by Steve Golinn, the famous founder and former boss of Propaganda Films who's credited with having "discovered" Spike Jonez, David Fincher, Antoine Fuqua, Alex Proyas, Gore Verbinski and Michael Bay as student/amateur filmmakers and put them to work on the award-winning commercials and music videos where most ultimately made their names. He's also nominated for an Academy Award this year for having produced the Boston Globe journalism drama, Spotlight.
Bastille Day is currently set for an April 22nd, 2016 theatrical release in the UK. No U.S. release date has yet been set.
Source: Studio Canal
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