Judge Roy Hrab is on the take. Inquire within.
He's got family, he's got power…but he's got issues!
From across the pond comes The Take, a 4-episode, made-for-television crime family miniseries. The series focuses on the exploits of the psychopathic Freddie Jackson (Tom Hardy, Bronson) and his level-headed cousin Jimmy (Shaun Evans, The Situation) over a 10-year period, starting in 1984.
This is a by-the-numbers production. At its core, it's similar to the De Niro-Pesci dynamic in Casino; Jimmy tries to get down to serious business while Freddie jeopardizes the whole operation by flying into random and blind violent rages, doing drugs, and womanizing. However, Jimmy is loyal to Freddie to a fault. Eventually, Freddie grows so out of control that the big boss Ozzy (Brian Cox, Adaptation) grows weary of him. Ultimately, this set things up for a showdown between the two friends. All in all, nothing original in this set-up.
At the end, The Take is filled with gangsterism, violence, murder, double-crosses, betrayals, and drug abuse. This is all more standard fare. The saga has aspirations of being an epic story like The Godfather, but falls far short because of its two-dimensional characters and a script that favors moving the action along rather than trying to build-up anything.
As Freddie, Tom Hardy is allowed to steal every scene he's in. However, all Freddie does is smoke, swear, and destroy. Yes, Hardy is fully believable and the performance is intense, but it's too much and soon becomes tiresome. The rest of the cast is unexceptional, but solid and reliable in their secondary roles.
Technically, this release is good. The video presentation is strong for the most part. The audio is fine, but subtitles would be helpful in order to decipher the sometimes incomprehensible accents, especially that of Hardy.
There are some forgettable extras comprised of short interviews with the cast and crew.
"Take" a pass on this one.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BFS Video
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