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The Take DVD review: Elba loses plot in Paris thriller

By Damon Smith

Pickpocket Michael Mason (Richard Madden) steals passports, accessories and smartphones at tourist hotspots like the Sacre-Coeur at Montmartre.

He steals a shopping bag from a young activist, Zoe Naville (Charlotte Le Bon), when her back is turned. Michael takes the valuables and casually discards the bag, unaware a bomb is buried inside. The device detonates, killing innocent bystanders, and Michael is unwittingly condemned a terrorist by CCTV footage. Rogue US operative Sean Briar (Idris Elba), who is assigned to the CIA station in Paris under Karen Dacre (Kelly Reilly), vows to apprehend Michael before an elite French SWAT team led by Rafi (Thierry Godard).

The Take is an action-packed thriller shot on location in London and Paris, which boasts a thrilling rooftop chase performed by the actors rather than stunt doubles. Elba is a surly, muscular presence at the centre of every action sequence.

But budgetary constraints and haphazard plotting from screenwriter Andrew Baldwin conspire against the leading man.

Two stars

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