(France/US/UK - 2016)
BASTILLE DAY in France, where its release was delayed once by a November 2015 terrorist attack. It then opened in French cinemas on July 13, 2016 but was pulled three days later out of respect for the victims of the next day's Bastille Day bombing in Nice. Universal genre offshoot High Top Releasing acquired it for the US and retitled it THE TAKE, but didn't give it much of a rollout, topping out at 100 screens in November 2016. It should find an audience on Blu-ray and eventual streaming services, as it's as commercial a thriller as can be, directed in a very welcome coherent fashion by James Watkins, whose credits include the horror films EDEN LAKE (2008) and THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012) as well as the recent BLACK MIRROR episode "Shut Up and Dance," and he scripted the forgettable sequel THE DESCENT PART 2 (2009). THE TAKE is anchored by a steely, badass Idris Elba as Sean Briar, a lone-wolf, plays-by-his-own-rules CIA agent based in Paris, where he's the loose cannon on a counter-terrorism team investigating a recent bombing that killed four people. The bomb, stuffed into a teddy bear inside a shopping bag, was supposed to be planted at the Nationalist Party headquarters by Zoe (Charlotte Le Bon), a willing accomplice of Jean (Arieh Worthalter), who promised her no one would be in the building. Zoe aborted the mission when she saw members of the janitorial staff on the premises, and before she had a chance to throw the bag into the river, it's swiped by Michael Mason (Richard Madden, best known as Robb Stark on GAME OF THRONES), an American con man and master pickpocket who's been hard at work in Paris fencing wallets, watches, and phones for shady pawnbroker Baba (FEMME FATALE's Eriq Ebouaney). Seeing nothing of value, Mason tosses the bag with some trash outside an apartment building and it blows up seconds later. Security camera footage and surveillance photos pinpoint him as the bomber, which sends Briar, Interpol, and French intelligence in hot pursuit. A cat and mouse game ensues, with Briar and Mason eventually joining forces...if they don't kill each other first!...along with the duped Zoe when it becomes apparent that the bombing was instigated by a group of rogue Paris cops with the intent of blaming the attack on a nearby mosque, creating a protest and a riot as a distraction for a Bastille Day heist of the French National Reserve Bank.
(US/Canada - 2016)