The Takedown Review: Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte are Quite Entertaining in this Buddy-cop Sequel

The Takedown (Loin du périph) is the latest production by French director Louis Leterrier released on Netflix. It is a sequel to the 2012 film On the Other Side of the Tracks which was a massive hit in France. It reprises the roles of French actors Omar Sy as the shy police officer Ousmane Diakhite and Laurent Lafitte as the narcissistic and mediocre cop Francois Monge.

There is a lot of interest in The Takedown, especially among The Fast and the Furious franchise lovers, as Leterrier is going to direct the next film in the franchise, Fast X. So, this film is more like a trailer for the kind of direction we will get to see in the F9 sequel. Although we are already familiar with Leterrier’s work in the first two Transporter films, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Now You See Me (2013), Clash of the Titans (2010) and a series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019).

– The Takedown review does not contain spoilers –

The Takedown revolves around two cops who used to be partners, who pair up once again to investigate a murder case in the French countryside. Diakhite, played by Sy, is an honest, shy and down-to-earth cop who is quite popular both inside and outside the police department; so much so that they make him the face of the department after he arrests a drug ring of MMA fighters. On the other hand, Monge, played by Lafitte, is a mediocre, narcissistic and quite problematic cop who gets his due by getting humiliated throughout the film.

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As Diakhite starts the murder investigation, Monge latches on to him using his powerful mother to get him on the case, one of the many instances the power play in the bureaucracy and politics is satirised in the film. His character is like, say, a mediocre James Bond; but the difference is, that people actually acknowledge and make fun of his self-indulgent nature.

We see his therapist list out his career failures, his colleagues calling him a “loudmouth”, a “perv”, “a sexist”, and that his cologne “smells like the back of an Uber”. Adding to that, in a hilariously awkward scene, we see him rubbing oil on the back of a stripper whom he is questioning in the strip bar. His self-proclaimed “charisma” is stripped down scene by scene, and it’s much fun to watch.

The Takedown Review: Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte are Quite Entertaining in this Buddy-cop Sequel

Together they embark on an investigation into a countryside that is very white and very right. The Takedown here reflects the far-right forces rising in the world, in general, and in France, in particular, where an evidently ‘patriotic’ Mayor has the citizens much impressed. Even with the Nazis gone, the world is still in strife with fascists who are just as bad, although they do not look like it. The Mayor certainly does not look like a Nazi-like racist, but his hatred towards the blacks and other minority communities is evident and a driving force.

This hatred is well-played in the story with Diakhite putting all the backhanded comments, indirect as well as direct, remarks on his skin colour in the forefront until the other person backs off. For example, when he is made the face of the police department on account of being “likeable” and “relatable” to certain sections of the population, he forces them to accept it because he is Black.

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Monge, on the other hand, is very close to being a racist far-rightist, his thoughts certainly reflect this, as he says, “When you’re white, educated and well connected, it’s not easy to carve a place for yourself.” But the difference is that when the time comes, he always chooses the good side.

The Takedown will keep you entertained throughout

The Takedown is fast-paced, has good action scenes especially chase scenes (look out for the one involving go-karts), the acting is indulging and the chemistry between the two leads is quite funny. The plot does not have much novelty to it, is not too different from the many buddy-cop films we have seen in the past, you will probably guess the ending halfway through the film. But entertainment-wise it serves you good with its to-and-forth dialogues, funny comebacks and one-liners. Action-wise, The Takedown will not disappoint you either, as there are some fast-paced action and car-chase sequences.

The Takedown Review: Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte are Quite Entertaining in this Buddy-cop Sequel

The character of the evil Mayor is well played by Dimitri Storoge, and the character of Alice played by Izïa Higelin as a cop bemused by the main leads is quite entertaining. The Takedown will, in some ways, remind you of Hot Fuzz, especially the small town conspiracy interrupted by city cops. Although you should watch the first film, On the Other Side of the Tracks, to really appreciate the film.

The Takedown does have its moments, despite being predictable, and you will not regret spending your two hours on it. Another good thing about this film is that, despite being a sequel, you do not feel like you are missing out just because you haven’t watched the first film. It is a good standalone film as well, that will keep you entertained throughout. You can watch The Takedown on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

The Takedown, directed by Louise Leterrier, follows two cops who delve deeper into the French countryside drug scene as they track down the murder of a young man.

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The Takedown, directed by Louise Leterrier, follows two cops who delve deeper into the French countryside drug scene as they track down the murder of a young man. The Takedown Review: Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte are Quite Entertaining in this Buddy-cop Sequel