With a good pace and acting, this action-thriller film still falls flat, failing to create any serious intrigue or excitement.
We review the Netflix film The Takeover (2022), which does not contain any significant spoilers.
Action-crime-thriller Dutch film The Takeover is available for streaming on Netflix, and if you’re looking for something easy and simple to watch with a small intriguing kick, this is it. Directed by Annemarie van de Mond from a screenplay co-written by Hans Erik Kraan and Tijs van Marle, the Fiction Valley production stars Holly Mae Brood, Geza Weisz, Frank Lammers, Susan Radder, Walid Benmbarek, Noortje Herlaar, Marco Eradus, Lawrence Sheldon, Jenny Hsia, Jeremiah Fleming, and Anna Deborah van der Rhee.
Mel Bandison is a white-hat hacker who, after a good deed, gets into trouble because, collaterally, she causes the closure of an entire criminal organization. Framed for murder, our protagonist Mel must evade the police and track down the people who are framing and blackmailing her. The film has a run time of one hour and thirty minutes and has English voice-over and subtitles available.
Holly Mae Brood plays a strong protagonist and is well-performed. The story is simple, and the film left me wanting more drama and conflict. The film is mainly about Mel being chased by gangsters she has hacked around Rotterdam while trying to prove her innocence. There’s enough pace in the film to class as an action/thriller, but unlike a film such as Die Hard 4.0, the intensity was missing. Maybe this is because she is a “good” hacker, a modern-day online hero, hacking to help people rather than being a criminal hacker. In fact, the hacking parts of the film are very dumbed down, and the focus is more on the chase and climax. The short run-time doesn’t allow for much growth, or innovation, which makes the film lack any substance.
The film has the standard typical action-thriller film tropes; we have a young hacker with exceptional skills, a father-like figure, and a clueless but cute guy who adds nothing but slight comedy to the film. Oh, and the evil villain is British. I love that classic. All three main actors work well together and have good chemistry. The only real character redemption arc comes from the character Buddy, without whom the film would have been totally boring.
The cinematography and graphics are simple, which makes the film feel closer to reality, but really for a film about hacking, you want strong visuals to see and feel the pressures of an online hack/attack. You hope the film is building to a dramatic climax; this ending was decent and did have the most action in the film. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but please watch and let us know what you think.
Overall this film makes for an easy Sunday film night watch. It’s conventional from the start and failed to fully captivate and engage me as a viewer, but if you’re wanting an action-thriller that is less dramatic Hollywood showstopper material and more like real-life this could be the film for you.
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