The Take (2009)

TV Mini-Series  -  Crime | Drama | Thriller
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Series cast summary:
 Jimmy (4 episodes, 2009)
 Freddie (4 episodes, 2009)
 Maggie (4 episodes, 2009)
 Jackie (4 episodes, 2009)
Margot Leicester ...
 Lena (4 episodes, 2009)
 Ozzy (4 episodes, 2009)
Jane Wood ...
 Maddie (4 episodes, 2009)
Steve Nicolson ...
 Lewis (4 episodes, 2009)
John Ashton ...
 Joseph (4 episodes, 2009)
Megan Jossa ...
 Kim (4 episodes, 2009)
 Police Constable (4 episodes, 2009)
 Patricia (3 episodes, 2009)
Obi Abili ...
 Des (2 episodes, 2009)
Macdara Joyce ...
 Little Jimmy (2 episodes, 2009)
René Zagger ...
 Altay Nevzat (2 episodes, 2009)
Sammy Williams ...
 Little Freddie (2 episodes, 2009)
Jenny Kavanagh ...
 Kimberly (2 episodes, 2009)
 Fatik Nevzat (2 episodes, 2009)
 Freddie Senior (2 episodes, 2009)
Gary Murphy ...
 Tony the Barman (2 episodes, 2009)


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He's got family, he's got power, but he's got issues.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

17 June 2009 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

There Is Little to "Take" From Watching This
8 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As the film medium becomes over-crowded to the point it's truly impossible to see everything, "The Take" is one of those rare films, which are unfortunately becoming less and less rare as years go by, that bring with it the question of worth.

For one, the film (well, miniseries really, but one wouldn't be able to tell apart from the distracting theme music) is note-for-note "Once Upon a Time in America" if that film never flashed back to explain why its lead was imprisoned and was set in the decade it was made in, the 80s. Actor Tom Hardy even seems to be channeling Robert DeNiro's cocky demeanor in this as well. What Leone's also-flawed-but-classic film had to it's advantage was shock value, probably due to its coming from Leone, who was famous for his Westerns.

"The Take" is predictable; there's no getting around it. While predictability can be used as a tool, it's obvious that the creators had no idea how to use it. This black cloud of similarity over the gangster genre won't go away, especially in period pieces, because gangsters are inherently small-minded. They get by solely on playing the system, so of course to have enough drama for a gripping story, either the system must crumble or the conflict is within the family, where they're to close to consider the odds.

"The Take" involves the latter and that's to it's detriment. Every conflict happens too close. Since the film chooses to simply use rather than take advantage of the genre's tropes, the drama's punch relies on the shock value that Leone's film had in spades. But, it can't because it's too tight, thus doing the exact opposite of what the creators want: making the writing visible to the audience.

Each main character is part of the closely-knit family, meaning that if tragedy strikes, one of them is to blame. Instead of playing that for suspense all the way through, the writer lets you know who did a few things and then forgets that the audience knows process of elimination for the rest.

For example, toward the end, the audience is supposed to be surprised when a character who's been in the background the entire time finally makes his presence known by way of murder. But, since he's the only character who hasn't had his moment, of course an attentive audience would figure it out. Superior gangster films let things like this breathe by using non-family characters like henchmen as supporting characters, but "The Take" chooses to kill any of them off in the first half, before any of them become to interesting and outshine the clichéd main cast. That's sodding irritating.

Reliable talent such as Tom Hardy and Brian Cox are the only praise mentioned on the DVD package and that's pretty much where this reviewer stands. They do all do great, but they always do great. In fact, the question of worth comes in again when you realize that these actors aren't even stretching their chops. All are doing things here in which one would think made previous roles exclusively brilliant, Cox especially, who nearly made me think less of his turn in "The Escapist" after this. Perhaps this is because they're all playing more toned down characters then, say, Hardy's "Bronson." But still. . .

So, what's the answer to the question of worth? It's tough, seeing that everyone involved is talented beyond belief. It's just difficult when all of them seem to not be focusing in the right places, whether that be masking previous, similar roles (that goes for both the cast and writing) or anticipating their intelligent audience. After all, come on! Other than those following Hardy after "Inception", not many will see this who aren't film/TV buffs who will likely have seen the superior "Once Upon a Time in America" or "The Wire." For them, this is a skip. For the rest, who knows? The digital cinematography looks pretty.

7 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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