The Take – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Idris Elba stars as Sean Briar, a CIA agent in Paris who pushes the limits and doesn’t “play well with others”. Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is a professional pickpocket who steals a bag belonging to Zoe (Charlotte Le Bon) and drops it with the garbage in front of a small apartment building after taking anything of value from it only to have the bag blow up moments later. Now on the run as a suspected terrorist bomber, Mason finds himself being hunted by Briar. Briar does capture Mason and eventually believes him to be innocent of the bombing, but he uses the thief to help him track down Zoe and the bomb makers who are threatening to detonate more bombs. As the Mason and Briar inch closer to Zoe and the truth, they discover cover-ups and corruption and the real reasons the French people have been antagonized to riot in their own streets.
I was in the mood for a good action film, and Idris Elba impressed me so much in the BBC’s Luther, that I gave The Take a chance. The plot takes place on the days leading up to Bastille Day, which was the film’s European title, I assume they switched it to The Take for North American audiences because they assumed the majority of audiences wouldn’t know what Bastille Day was, kind of like they assumed American Harry Potter audiences wouldn’t know what a Philosopher’s Stone was… The Take was a fairly low budget and relatively unknown film but I rather liked it. It started off a little slow and I thought it was going to be quite predictable, but they threw a few original twists and ideas in that I wasn’t expecting. Those things really paid off in my mind, and allowed me to enjoy what could have been a very formulaic and hum-drum action flick. The action kept me entertained throughout, and the performances were solid. The cast had good chemistry together, and the cinematography was top notch. An enjoyable film that avoided many of the clichés of the genre.
Bottom Line: Idris Elba wrote and performed (with Fatboy Slim) the song The Road Less Travelled which plays over the closing credits.