In actual fact, Bastille Day feels more like Groundhog Day, such is the movie’s reliance on clichés and retreads of past and fairly recent action thrillers. Fish out of water and elite American pick pocket Michael (Richard Madden) steals the wrong bag from reluctant activist/ terrorist Zoe (Charlotte Le Bon), accidentally bombing the centre of Paris and killing 4 people thereafter. Working the case is another fish out of water, CIA operative and doublehard bastard Sean Briere (Idris Elba). After a nifty rooftop chase that punches above it’s weight, the odd couple must partner up to take on corrupt cops and terrorist plots, whilst Paris is at boiling point due to city-wide anti-fascist sentiments that are stoked by the Police’s response to the alleged Muslim terrorist attacks. Any complexities in Bastille Day’s story are ironed out and signposted pretty obviously, as to not confuse matters, which is no bad thing, as it lets our 2 Americans (eventually joined by Zoe) to drive from one building to the next trading expertise to get the job done and catch the bad guys. Briers beats a lot of people up whilst Mason steals things from people without them knowing. A steady sub genre of Euro based action films has emerged over the last decade (Bourne, Taken, 3 Days to Kill, From Paris with Love, The Transporter et al) so the familiarity of the surroundings and scenery isn’t anything new for most movie fans. We’ve been here before too with the buddy crime genre, but this isn’t Nolte and Murphy sparring on screen, far from it. It might seem an obvious statement, but the French actors all look perfectly at home, and it’s the foreign element that jars - especially when it’s British actors with questionable American accents. The film’s lo-fi aesthetic owes more to the gritty realism of a Jason Bourne, but in many ways, Briers is the anti Bourne. There is no time for lonely contemplation and moral questioning of himself hereas Briere is a cartoonish macho cliché: a classic loose Canon. I don’t doubt that writer/director James Watkins is fully aware of the playbook he is copying from, and more to the point thinks to hell with it; this is the genre he is working in and to hell with making it more than that. The trouble is we’ve seen better from the main players themselves and from others working in the same genre with the same means. Idris Elba already plays a great Pop Eye Doyle-like anti hero in TV's Luther, minus the ju jitsu and cringe-worthy dialogue. Watkins has some pedigree when it comes to taut thrillers (Eden Lake, Eye Spy) but there is no time for subtle building of suspense here, as the film lurches from one action scene to the next. The action is not poorly executed, but we’ve seen heroes doing complex martial arts with bad guys before - and we’ve seen much better. Another Brit working abroad, Gareth Evans, reinvigorated the action crime genre with his excellent The Raid films, and sadly Bastille Day is more Taken 2 than The Raid.