Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Take

Set in Paris, ‘The Take’ (formerly known as ‘Bastille Day’) is a fast-paced action thriller focusing on a series of events after terrorists threaten the city. Michael Mason (Richard Madden), a highly skilled pickpocket from America, steals what he presumes to be a bag containing expensive items from, Zoe Naville, a very upset woman in the street (Charlotte Le Bon). Realising that there’s nothing of worth he throws it on a rubbish pile, only for it to explode and kill four innocent people – Mason has actually just set off the bomb that was destined for the river had Zoe kept the bag.

Mason is caught by Agent Sean Briar (Idris Elba), a “reckless and irresponsible” CIA agent who sees him as the terrorist and, after realising that he’s just got caught up in the situation, the two end up helping each other to catch the real criminals.

Elba is on top form as always, playing a macho yet surprisingly complex agent, and both Madden and Le Bon were very good as well, although I don’t recall seeing them in anything previously (sorry, but I don’t watch ‘Game of Thrones’!). There was a very interesting character dynamic throughout the whole film as they all differ so much – unfortunately, some of the humour felt a little bit forced and unnatural at points, but generally they worked really well together.

I must admit that I wasn’t massively excited about ‘The Take’ – I’ve seen a lot of spy thrillers of late and I was worried that it would be a bit too repetitive. Although the storyline was many common ideas thrown together it actually felt very new – you won’t be getting bored with this one in a hurry, as it’s constantly exciting and very on-point. There’s some excellent scenes, including a rooftop chase that’s nearly up there with ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ and an incredibly frantic multiple fight scene in an enclosed space, as well as some softer, more poignant scenes, where Elba really gets his tough-yet-soft acting style across that we all know and love.

If I could have changed anything it would have been the realism of the plot – although it was a good story, it just didn’t feel like it could happen. It wasn’t quite so Hollywood as films such as other terrorist-based plots such as ‘London Has Fallen’ and ‘Die Hard’, but it still wasn’t gritty enough for my liking. It may have been partly down to the coverage of the terrorist group and their whole plan; there was so much focus on Briar and Mason that all we really learnt about the actual terror plot was that it revolved mainly around a series of hashtags that somehow managed to derail the entirety of Paris in a very short space of time.

James Watkins has done a pretty good job with this one – it’s visually appealing, and it’s got a great pace that you won’t want to step away from. It’s unfortunate that it was created at the time that it was (the trailer for the film ended up being banned in France due to the eerily similar Bastille Day events from this year), but it turned out to be a great watch that anyone can enjoy without getting too involved in an overly-complex plot, so I’m giving it 4/5.


Hannah Reid

The Take at CeX

Get your daily CeX at

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl