The Take (Bastille Day) review — a by-the-numbers buddy-cop movie

October 6, 2020 (Last updated: last month)
M.N. Miller 0
Film, Film Reviews, Netflix


By all accounts, this by-the-numbers buddy-cop movie should have stayed hidden on the top shelf where it has been left for the past four years.

Bastille Day’s release was delayed after the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. It was then scheduled for release and to coincide with France’s national celebration only to have it pulled soon after because of the 2016 Nice truck attack. Later, it was given a very limited release in the United States, only playing in 100 theatres and petered out almost immediately. All of this has made it the little movie that could as it has been repackaged as The Take and has been on the Netflix top ten for about a week. By all accounts, this by-the-numbers buddy-cop movie should have stayed hidden on the top shelf where it has been left for the past four years.

The Take starts with a pickpocket, Michael Mason (Rocket Man and 1917’s Richard Madden) on the eve of Bastille Day stealing phones, wallets, and anything his sticky little fingers touch. He spots a beautiful woman crying while sitting outside a coffee shop. With her head in her hands, she looks up, and her bag is gone. Mason, you see, swooped in, and took her purse with a very important package inside. When he tosses it aside after grabbing the valuable, it explodes, killing multiple people. Caught on video with the bag, he is deemed a terrorist threat, and the gruff, intimidating agent Sean Briar (Idris Elba) tracks him down. From there, he quickly realizes Mason had nothing to do with the explosion. So, these two men, who live by opposite codes of the law, work together to bring the real criminals down before it is too late.

The Take is a mildly entertaining action flick that follows a fairly predictable playbook of how these buddy-cop films play out. You have the obvious investigation and the realization that they have gotten the wrong man. The cop, who knows the man is innocent, uses him by force or threat to help solve the case. You also have the obvious in plain sight villain and the unfortunate doomed victim to follow. There are simply no surprises to be had here. Even the action scenes in close quarters and hand-to-hand combat are so overly choreographed they induce eye-rolls and a simultaneous yawn or two.

The real draw here is the mildly entertaining chemistry between the two handsome leads. The problem though is that is not original in itself either, making The Take damaged goods. A better production would have made better use of the films’ star power. Instead, you are treated to a standard plot, pointless twists, and an out-of-control van scene that takes more turns than a trip down Lombardi Street in San Francisco without managing to crash into anything.

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