New French Movie Starring Omar Sy On Netflix
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The Takedown (Loin du périph), starring Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte, premiered on Netflix

on May 6, and has already entered Netflix’s Top 10 Movies in many countries, including Canada, France and the U.K. Directed by Louis Leterrier (The Transporter, The Incredible Hulk, Lupin), The Takedown is a standard buddy cop action movie that takes a special look at the rising popularity of the far right in France.

Omar Sy plays Captain Ousmane Diakité, a Parisian police officer in the crimes unit, who finds himself stuck with an unlikely partner, François Monge (played by Laurent Lafitte), to investigate a murder. The Takedown is a sequel to a popular 2012 film, directed by David Charhon, On the Other Side of the Tracks (De l’autre côté du périph), which saw the two characters of Ousmane and François meet for the first time. They are two very different police officers, with very different styles and backgrounds. This first film was seen by over two million spectators in France when it was released in cinemas in 2012. This new film sees the two police officers reunite on a new case.

The Takedown is clearly targetted at fans of Lupin eager for the next season of the popular series to be released. Although formulaic in its form, the film does attempt to approach deeper social themes. In terms of performances, Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte continue to form a great duo. As this is a sequel, however, less emphasis is placed on their opposing and clashing personalities. If you haven’t seen On the Other Side of the Tracks, many references will be lost to you in this movie.

In the 2012 film, François, a police man from the richer neighborhoods of Paris, had to partner up with Ousmane, a police man from the Parisian suburbs, to solve a case. The Takedown is set ten years later. François is still basking in a life full of privilege, living in his parents’ grand Parisian apartment. In terms of his career in the police force, however, it all seems to be going downhill for François, who isn’t at all liked by his colleagues. In contrast, Ousmane is a rising star in the police force, and is now Chief of the Criminal Division in Paris. Ousmane rarely follows the rules in his investigations. The beginning shows him thrown into an MMA fight as he tries to arrest an MMA fighter, thus suggesting that Ousmane will bend the rules to get to the bottom of a case.

Ousmane and François are reunited and partner up again when the body of a man is found, torn in half, in between two train carriages in a Parisian train station. Or to be more precise, Ousmane is on the case to investigate, and François uses his connections (evidently, his mother) to force himself onto the investigating team with Ousmane. The logic here isn’t too clear, but it means that they must partner up again. Their investigation takes them outside of Paris to a small village in the Alps, where a far-right politician is the mayor. They team up with local police officer Alice (played by Izïa Higelin), who quickly becomes a potential love interest for Ousmane.

While Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte have great chemistry—clearly one of the reasons the 2012 film did so well in France—, some of the comedy does feel a little dated in The Takedown. The film succeeds best in its action sequences and in its attempts at social commentary. As Ousmane and François investigate, they unearth something much more disturbing is preparing in this seemingly quiet provincial town. The two Parisian cops find themselves confronted with a close-knit community, openly racist and with nationalistic tendencies. The film here clearly suggests the rising popularity of far right political parties in France.

The Takedown is overall an entertaining French version of the buddy cop movie, if overly formulaic, with two very engaging leads.

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