The Takedown is the pinnacle of horrible Netflix originals

Ousmane Diakite (Omar Sy) and Francois Monge (Laurent Lafitte) pose as partners as they prepare to break their homicide case.

Promotional Material Courtesy of Netflix

Ousmane Diakite (Omar Sy) and Francois Monge (Laurent Lafitte) pose as partners as they prepare to break their homicide case.

The Takedown, released Mar 6, surpasses previous Netflix hits such as Tall Girl and Drive, weaseling its way to the pinnacle of abhorrent Netflix originals, which isn’t saying much. Divulging into the Marvel side of filmmaking, The Takedown fails to stitch comedy and action into a cohesive piece. 

The film follows a Paris cop, Ousmane Diakite (Omar Sy), who is sent to investigate the murder of Kevin Marchal, a drug dealer who was found wedged between two train cars. Diakite works the case with a figure from his past, Francois Monge (Laurent Lafitte); an unlikely duo as Diakite works crime while Monge belongs to a precinct. The plot deepens when the duo finds that the town’s mayor, Antoine Brunner (Dimitri Storage), identifies as a fascist. The case rapidly falls from a straight-forward homicide into domestic terrorism.

The plot was riddled not only with twists but chronic plot holes. With a length of 119 minutes and the minimal plot presented, explanation shouldn’t be an arduous task. The provided twists were met with brief explanations and even contradicted prior developments of the film. 

Described as a comedy, the film provides a serving of jokes to accompany the fast-paced action. This said, most of the jokes were out of date. The film takes on a large topic, addressing racism and its systemic roots. Instead of addressing racism presented to immigrants or minorities with an investigative lens, the film falls back onto racist jokes presented in a sarcastic manner in order to bring a lighter tone to the movie.

Scratching just above the other blemished qualities of the movie, these jokes protrude at the top. Most render as insensitive, scattering racist quips throughout the film to point out the jokes’ inherent evils. However, as they are put randomly, the jokes hold no significance, leaving the viewer with an awkward racist joke rather than the intended message. 

Adding onto the already weak qualities of the film, was the cinematography and costume design. Set with bright tones and simplistic, non-identifying outfits, I felt as though I was watching an animated stock image rather than a movie. This aspect of the film rendered it generic, like a majority of Netflix Originals. 

This said, the film didn’t come off all wrong. Like a televised drug, its facade was enjoyable, but lurking side effects posed a threat. Overall, the action was almost captivating. There were high-speed car chases, explosions, and the shots were, mostly, free of the use of obvious green screens. 

Without the script, this film, while far from acceptable, would have been at the least watchable. Sy’s acting throughout the film was mediocre, with the occasional awkward line or robotic scene. However, the rest of the cast’s acting skills couldn’t mask the fault found in the script; a majority of scenes were awkwardly timed with lines not fitting the action. 

Overall, the film didn’t differentiate from any other action piece. The differentiation, though, came with the severely incoherent and seemingly unnecessary comedy. Inevitably, the film is not worth watching, and therefore receives 1.5 out of 5 feathers.