The Take Blu-ray Review
Formerly known as Bastille Day before... Bastille Day.
The Take aka Bastille Day aka the film where Luther clothes-lines Rob Stark is a mildly diverting little conservative-budget thriller.As if Bastille Day wasn't a generic enough title, at least it had more flavour than The Take, but timing is everything, and after the atrocities on France's celebrated festival day, Bastille Day soon got renamed to the bland alternative, and will likely disappear even further into obscurity as a result. Already feeling like a straight-to-video-level effort trussed up as a theatrical event movie mostly out of some desired promotion for Game of Thrones' Rob Stark (Richard Madden), The Take, in much the same way as the recent Spooks movie which has a very similar feel, remains watchable for reasons other than because one of the stars of Game of Thrones is headlining it.Idris Elba basically carries the piece, charismatic as ever even in a film which he could have easily sleepwalked through (Willis could take lessons) and even occasionally reminding us of what we're missing in not making him the next Bond. The film is at its strongest when he dominates the screen, playing a no-nonsense CIA agent tasked with recovering a suspect (Madden's bland con man) in a terrorist bombing on the run-up to Bastille Day, who finds (unsurprisingly) things aren't quite what they seem. Paranormal Activity 2's director James Watkins stages the action efficiently enough, but it's telling when the most fun you get out of the movie is seeing Luther clothes-line Rob Stark.
Picture QualityStudiocanal's Region B-locked UK Blu-ray release delivers the goods with a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. Despite the budgetary restrictions (which show up just about every time somebody gets in a car), the image remains clear and detail is admirably strong.
There's little in this Blu-ray to overtly complain about even if it's never going to be regarded as demo material
Sure, clarity isn't held throughout the piece, with a mite of softness creeping around a number of discrete shots across the movie, but it's nothing likely to fatally impinge your enjoyment of the movie, with the picture still picking up skin details, background textures and clothing weaves with the reliable efficiency of a modern digitally-shot feature. Black levels are decent enough too, with only a hint of banding, and overall there's little in here to overtly complain about even if it's never going to be regarded as demo material.
Sound QualityThe accompanying Dolby Atmos track with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 counterpart (note, it's another disc that frustratingly defaults to the lesser Linear PCM 2.0 alternative) does an impressive job, rendering the moderately diverting chases and action beats with aplomb.
The audio track does an impressive job, rendering the action beats with aplomb
Dialogue remains firmly prioritised across the front and centre channels, coming through clearly and coherently throughout, whilst the score - which is as generic and utterly forgettable as you would have expected from this kind of movie - tries to keep the pace through what is a chase-based narrative from start to finish. Effects are picked up and disseminated with precision and distinction, allowing for some thunderous gunshots, painful body blows and even a few explosions, and the LFE is more than prepared to get involved in the proceedings, lending some much-needed weight to the action sequences in particular. It gets the job done and does it well.
ExtrasBeyond some Previews on disc startup, the only extras are a couple of Interviews - one with the Director James Watkins and one with the stars Idris Elba and Richard Madden.
Blu-ray VerdictThis unremarkable thriller is at least delivered on Blu-ray with decent picture and sound quality
Sure, Bastille Day - or The Take - may be remembered for little more (if that), but the Bourne-lite action/spy/thriller still reminds us a little bit about what we're missing by not having Idris in the driving seat of Bond right now. The movie may be little more than a serviceable modestly-budgeted affair, whose only saving grace is Elba, but the disc is a solid one, with decent video and audio and even a couple of interviews with the Director and Cast to leave it from being utterly bare-bones. Fans of Elba may, understandably, find it hard to resist, but it's likely a rental at best - the kind of film you'd probably actually enjoy checking out when it arrives on Netflix.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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