The Takedown

The Takedown
Original title:Loin du périph
Director:Louis Leterrier
Running time:119 minutes
Release date:05 may 2022
Ousmane Diakité (Omar Sy) and François Monge (Laurent Lafitte) are two cops with very different styles, backgrounds and careers. The unlikely pair are reunited once again for a new investigation that takes them across France. What seemed to be a simple drug deal turns out to be a high scale criminal case wrapped in danger and unexpected comedy.

Mulder's Review

"I told the producers that, over the years, I had acquired a certain know-how in terms of spectacular sequences, and that I knew how to mix action, drama and humor. I gave them some ideas for action scenes that we hadn't seen in movies and I think they were convinced." - Louis Leterrier

Released in 2012 the crime comedy co-written and directed by David Charhon had met a certain success and had imposed an unstoppable duo composed of actors Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte. While we could have expected a sequel rather quickly, we had to wait ten years for the main duo to get back together to our great pleasure and for this new investigation to take on even more rhythm and action scenes worthy of current American bllockbusters. 

Taking into account the past ten years, the script written by Stéphane Kazandjian (Moden love (2008, Pattaya (2016) Taxi 5 (2018)) incorporates this fact and makes the characters Ousmane Diakité (Omar Sy) and François Monge (Laurent Lafitte) have each had their own professional evolution. The first became police commissioner and established himself as the new strong face of law enforcement. The second one did not have the career he deserved because of his character and his difficult relationships with his colleagues. However, a case will bring them together again and send them far from the Parisian suburbs, to a small town in the Alps where they will not only have to work again but also face a vindictive militia with nauseating and racist ideas.

While action movies were the prerogative of Europacorp, it is interesting to see that Netflix has proudly taken up the torch and succeeded in offering French productions worthy of American action movies with its share of fight scenes, chases and bounces. After establishing himself with successful French films like The Transporter 1&2 (2022, 2005) and Danny The Dog (2005), his next films confirmed that he had the makings of a great director, with a series of successful American films such as The Incredible Hulk (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010), Elusive (Now You See Me) (2013) (forget about the disappointing Grimsby: Agent Too Special (Grimsby) (2016)) but also by ambitious series that are for Netflix 2019: Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (10 episodes) (2019) and Lupin, In the Shadow of Arsene (3 episodes) (2021). 

The Takedown marks not only the director's reunion with Omar Sy but also his return to France as director of a French film (his next film being Fast and Furious 10 (Fast X) (2023)).  Known for his way of constantly looking for the best angle of view and giving his films a real rhythm, this one is certainly another success to be carried in his regard. Certainly very inspired by American cinema, Louis Leterrier takes a real palpable pleasure in giving life to action scenes like this MMA fight opening the film or this chase scene voluntarily recalling Mario Karts (the banana throwing is perfectly brought).

Of course, The Takedown is built as a tribute to buddy-movies like Lethal Weapon but also 48 Hours and more recently Bad Boys. However, the scenario, far from proposing a simple transfer of these films, also brings new elements and a French touch allowing this genre to be revisited from a new angle. The duo Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte works perfectly and the presence of the lovely Izïa Higelin in an important secondary role reinforces our adhesion to this film. We regret that this film can not be discovered on a giant screen of cinema as some scenes deserve to be appreciated on such a screen. 

Director Louis Leterrier seems to have had enough freedom to deliver the film he had in mind and thus mix the comedy, the crime film but also in some way the horror film type zombies by placing the two main characters in full confrontation with an aggressive militia. Certainly, The Takedown is not such a quickly seen and forgotten cinematographic product, but rather an engaging film that relies on perfectly delivered dialogues. Louis Leterrier is certainly a director to follow closely and we are already looking forward to his next film.  The only small regret is not to hear in the end credits an unpublished song of Izïa Higelin written especially for the occasion.

The Takedown
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Produced by Nicolas Altmayer, Eric Altmayer
Written by Stéphane Kazandjian 
Starring Omar Sy, Laurent Lafitte, Izïa Higelin, Dimitri Storoge, Caroline Mathieu, Léopold Bara, Jean-Louis Tilburg, Luka Quinn, Djimo, Bertrand Usclat, Ali Tiemoko Haïdara
Music by Guillaume Roussel
Cinematography : Thomas Hardmeier
Edited by Vincent Tabaillon 
Production companies : Netflix france
Distributed by Netflix
Release date : May 6, 2022 (France, USA)
Running time : 119 minutes

Seen on May 04, 2022 (Netflix press Screener)

Mulder's Mark: