Could Idris Elba be James Bond? Yes, says the Internet. No, say former 007s Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore. It’s still uncertain whether Daniel Craig will agree to be shaken, not stirred one more time, so for now the theory about his successor remains just that: a theory. In the meantime, though, Elba looks to be warming up for the part. His new movie Bastille Day looks pretty much like an audition for the Bond role. Elba kicks down doors, knocks people around, grumbles a few quips, and generally looks insanely intimidating. He also wears a suit rather well.
The thriller sees Elba as a CIA operative in Paris chasing down an American pickpocket (Richard Madden), who, in the time-honored movie tradition of plucky young men who get in out of their depth, steals the wrong bag. Soon Elba and Madden are forced to team up (and exchange a few buddy movie cliches) as they go after and try to outrun the film’s bad guys. As an action film it looks like a decent but fairly derivative slice of high-octane nonsense, with Madden providing comic relief amid all the mayhem. There’s even a stock elevator muzak scene. As a run-through for Bond, it might be the movie that convinces the 007 producers to pay attention to what Elba’s fans have been yelling for all this time. Bastille Day storms the gates of theaters on April 22nd, which begs the question: why isn’t it opening on July 14th?