Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is a clever pickpocket (and men will love the opening scene in Sacre Coure, Paris) but he steals a bag which puts him in the middle of a terrorist plot and the CIA, French police and the bad guys; and another bomb is set to go off on Bastille Day. Unfortunately for him, he’s tracked down by badass CIA agent Briar (Idris Elba) first.

The script intertwines current anti-Muslim tensions, allies who spy on each other and the power of social media. They might be exaggerated but rooted in reality. It avoids turning our buddies (of course these two were going to work together) into super heroes and avoids over-the-top CGI.

It’s a trim, taut thriller that uses pace and fast editing. One fight scene is messy, and you can’t tell who is belting who, but heck, you know the good guys are going to win, so you let it go and enjoy the ride. This is a formulaic buddy-boy thriller, (with hapless female victim) after all. It aims for Bourne but is more Die Hard without as many corny gags.

Idris Elba is great and menacing in the lead and Mason is likeable but they’re the only two with depth. Their interplay is nasty-funny rather than cheesy. The rest of the cast play their simple roles efficiently, although I thought Kelly Reilly looked put of place.

It’s not a film that challenges its genre, but takes it for a fast paced ride, and had me gritting my teeth. Any plot holes are minor bumps, lost in the speed of unfolding events. I don’t know if they’ll get the sequel they’re setting up for, but it’s one where after just 92 minutes, I had to smile as I unbuckled my seat belt at the end.

Con’s Score: 2.5 croissants.

Con Nats – Talking Arts