Jeremy Sumpter, Phoebe Tonkin, Ed Westwick, Dominic Sherwood
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
…a bloodless 80s throwback that never really goes anywhere.
Directed by Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Last Summer), Take Down is a British thriller with the teen market firmly in its crosshairs. The film sees New York party boy, Kyle (Jeremy Sumpter), ferried off to a boot camp for rich kids off the coast of Scotland. It’s here that his father hopes he’ll eventually begin to take responsibility for his actions after crashing his car whilst under the influence. Amongst the spoiled brats on the island is Amy (“Australia’s own” Phoebe Tonkin), who just so happened to be the passenger in Kyle’s car, and is a touch nonplussed about him having made a run for it. If things aren’t already unbearably tense for the wayward lad, the boot camp is invaded by armed thugs, looking to kidnap the feckless kids and hold them for a hefty ransom!
There’s something old fashioned about Take Down, a film that swaps complex characters for dependable easy-to-read stereotypes. You have your bad guys, your good guys and it’s all very clear who you’re supposed to cheer for. Sumpter does a fine job of being the brattiest of the brats, but as a leader who will solidify this ragtag bunch of trust fund kids, he’s a little less believable. And his job is pretty easy too, as the kidnappers make it quite explicit that they won’t kill any of them because then they won’t get paid. With that little of a threat on the cards, you’re left to wonder why Kyle doesn’t rally up the troops sooner.
Gillespie stirs up the occasional solid set piece against the backdrop of the Isle Of Man scenery, which stands in for both Scotland and, at times, New York. However, in light of other YA themed flicks, Take Down is a bloodless 80s throwback that never really goes anywhere.