REVIEW: Omar Sy Shines in ‘The Takedown’

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The Takedown - But Why Tho

Omar Sy has had quite a fruitful experience with Netflix to date after first hitting it big with Lupin playing the role of Assane, the gentleman thief. Now he’s back, but this time he’s playing a police detective in The Takedown. A french buddy cop comedy film that is now available on Netflix.

Directed by Louis LeterrierThe Takedown follows the events of the mysterious death of a man on a train that inexplicably pulls two ex-detective partners back together again. After so many years apart, and with completely different styles, Ousmane (Omar Sy), and François (Laurent Lafitte) must now figure out a way to overcome their differences as what started as a simple investigation has gotten much bigger.

Right from the beginning when the trailer first found its way onto social media, the premise of the film and the promise of Sy in a starring role had my interest well and truly piqued. While the buddy cop comedy trope is heavily used in the film, I was surprised to find that the French approach to the style was funny as hell thanks to the on-screen chemistry between Sy, and Lafitte aided by an entertaining script.

Lafitte’s adaptation of François is of a mediocre privileged white male cop who would rather spend his time seducing women than doing his job contrasts so well with that of Sy’s Ousmane whose hardworking and direct style, while never within protocol, yields results. François is so out of touch with the stark reality that exists past his champagne flute, and Lafitte’s facial expressions to capture those moments next to Ousmane’s dumbstruck reactions are highly comical. Early on during the character introductions, I was worried that François would be far too jarring in his ignorance which would eventually lead to him becoming a truly unlikeable and irritating character. However, through the eyes of Ousmane, the friendship that they form shows him in such a lighter tone.

Omar Sy on the other hand, damn he’s such a charming, and compelling actor. While his role in this is less smooth than the likes of Assane in Lupin, the guy just exudes this confidence and bravado. The more I watch Sy, the more I want to see him in other roles as his charisma is boundless. The Takedown is an extremely fun film and the elements all work well together, but I’d be naive if I didn’t comment on the fact the keystone that holds it all together is the performance of Sy.

The dialogue and the story itself deal with a lot of heavier topics such as racism and its roots within nationalism, and the bigotry that is still deeply entrenched in a lot of areas of Europe, but the nuance in this film shines more of the spotlight on François who is more of a centralist in his thinking. The constant confrontation between François and Ousmane is due in part to the latter’s ignorance of the realities of the current world. Where he sees the belief in upholding French tradition, Ousmane exposes the oppression and the poverty suffered by those of color.

That said, the comedy in The Takedown offsets the seriousness of the topic nicely, and again the whole premise is built upon the character relationship between François and Ousmane. Not only are they constantly trying to compete to be the better detective, but you get the feeling that both Sy and Lafitte were trying to compete on set to get the most laughs.

The fight sequences were brilliant, and Sy is more than capable of handling those long physical scenes, but where the film struggles are in the filming of the shots. Where it looks like they were going for these dynamic, personal close-ups translated into really shaky visuals and you lose the value in the fight choreography. It happens on a few occasions and it was a sensory overload as I couldn’t track the brawl in the blur of the movement of the camera.

This isn’t to say the whole film moves this way, as later on there’s some excellent use of a drone for footage and I loved that cinematography captures the larger landscape during a moment that relies on the use of speed without hindering the shot.

The Takedown is a rip-roaringly funny film led by its leads Omar Sy, and Laurent Lafitte. While the beginning is a little jarring, it quickly finds its feet as the two detectives attempt to prove who’s the better cop while trying to solve the mystery. I was surprised by entertaining this film was, and it left me wanting more, and the only question I have for Louis Leterrier is, when’s the sequel?

The Takedown is available now exclusively on Netflix.


The Takedown
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    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

The Takedown is a rip-roaringly funny film led by its leads Omar Sy, and Laurent Lafitte. While the beginning is a little jarring, it quickly finds its feet as the two detectives attempt to prove who’s the better cop while trying to solve the mystery. I was surprised by entertaining this film was, and it left me wanting more, and the only question I have for Louis Leterrier is, when’s the sequel?