Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is good at what he does, which is picking pockets. But when he steals a bag with what seems like a cuddly toy in it he ends up tagged by the French police as a terrorist as the toy has a time bomb inside it and when he tossed it aside there was an explosion killing four people. Unsurprisingly the CIA take an interest in Mason, especially unruly agent Sean Briar (Idris Elba) who discovers what really is going on. It seems that a group from the French Interior Ministry were staging a fake terrorist attack as a distraction so that on Bastille Day they could transfer money from a bank without detection. Now Mason and Briar must work together to bring the corrupt members of the Ministry down.
I believe there is an age where every movie fan gets that moment of realisation, where they watch a movie which they feel they should love yet for some reason it isn't as entertaining as they were expecting. "The Take" is that sort of movie as whilst it has a storyline involving corruption and has a lot of fast edited action this is a movie which relies heavily on the star appeal to carry it. And as such when I look at the rating this movie has received on another movie website I suspect many of those high ratings would have come from those who watched out of a fondness for Idris Elba, Richard Madden and also Kelly Reilly. Look, back in the day there were movies I rated highly purely because of a loyalty to a star who I liked so I understand that.
But look beyond the star power and what you have in "The Take" is a movie built on cliches. We have the no holds barred, reckless CIA agent going rogue with an innocent man accused of terrorism to track down the real criminals. We also have the corrupt people in the Ministry who not only still plan to go ahead with their crime but of course need to make sure that the truth doesn't come out, cue plenty of gunfire. So we get loads of fast action scenes combined with the semi humour of Briar being gruff to Mason being a bit of a ducker and diver. Yes there are some entertainingly creative sequences surrounding Mason operating as a pick pocket using distraction techniques but there is nothing to make this really special.
What this all boils to is that "The Take" is a solid action movie, a fast paced thriller with lots of snappily edited action. But this ends up being like a million one other modern thrillers that are reliant on a star to carry the movie.