Netflix’s “The Takedown,” is a French buddy cop film that loyally sticks to the formula of the genre. The film follows Ousmane Diakhité (Omar Sy), a rebel chief of the Paris crime division, and his old friend, François Monge (Laurent Lafitte), a narcissist and self-absorbed deputy chief of the district judicial police, who cross paths again after the events of the original film, “On the Other Side of the Tracks,” that came out in 2012. Together, they go on a two-man mission to solve a murder case in Valergnes.
Directed by Louis Leterrier, “The Takedown” thematically tries to explore racial tension and immigrant discrimination in the provincial parts of France where white supremacy still reigns to some lengths. However, the film shied away from any worthwhile discussion and majorly focused on the comic chemistry between the two police officers with contrasting personalities. Let’s continue further.
‘The Takedown’ Plot Summary
Chief Ousmane Diakhité is a rebel police officer who doesn’t abide by the laws and can go to any lengths to finish the mission. His recklessness and overconfidence is depicted in the opening sequence of the film, where Ousmane and his partner, Djimo, walk into an underground boxing arena to arrest Europe’s most wanted criminal, Jordan Diaz. Ousmane acts all heroic and tries to arrest bulky Jordan without waiting for the backup team, which in turn leads to a ruckus that is recorded on camera. After Jordan’s arrest, Ousmane’s superior calls him unmanageable and obsessive, yet doesn’t take any action against him because of his recent social media popularity. Instead, the department wants to wash off their sins and make him the poster boy of the police department because of his skin color. However, Ousmane has no interest in promoting anyone’s agenda and thus declines the offer without a second thought.
In the other part of the story, François Monge, deputy chief of the 12th district Judicial Police, is sitting in front of his therapist for evaluation after his colleagues reported his severe superiority complex and called him a liability for the department. Monge charmingly defends himself and woes his therapist while the scene also establishes the fact that Monge has taken the police chief’s exam three times and has failed miserably each time. He even requested a transfer to the criminal division five times, but his application was rejected every time.
While receiving his affluent parents at Lyon station, Monge spots a severed half-body and decides to investigate further. Ousmane, from the crime division, arrives at the scene and is surprised to see his old partner. It is suggested that the two fell apart after Ousmane cracked the police chief’s exam and Monge failed to clear it, even after having affluent and well-connected parents.
Ousmane is informed that the other half of the severed body that belongs to Kevin Marchal has been found by the Saint-Julien-en-Genevois station on a train track outside Valergnes. He decides to travel to Valergnes, and as soon as Monge hears about it, he requests Ousmane to take him with him. After Ousmane refuses, Monge uses his parents’ connection and the two cops land in Valergnes to solve the mystery surrounding Kevin’s brutal murder.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Who Killed Kevin Marchal? And Why?
In Valergnes, Monge and Ousmane met Deputy Captain, Alice Gauthier, who took the cops to the morgue where they learned that Kevin Marchal was shot twice and his body was bisected using a sharp metal object that left cauterized wounds near the edges. The cops went straight to the Saint-Julien-en-Genevois station and Ousmane surmised that someone was chasing Kevin and, after they shot him in the leg, he lost balance on his bike and crashed into the high-voltage cables that cut his body into two halves. One part of his body fell into a train passing at the same moment that carried it to Lyon station, where Monge found it. Ousmane believed that someone took away Kevin’s bike to erase the tracks, so he decided to investigate Kevin’s house to find any clues in there.
At Kevin’s place, Ousmane found a secret lab where he was producing a methamphetamine called Pervitin that was used by the Nazis during the war. However, Kevin’s mother had no idea about her son’s secret lab, and thus Ousmane decided to interrogate his friend/girlfriend, Jessica, who worked at a bar called “Le Cherry.” While Monge tried to investigate Jessica, Ousmane came across a racist hulk in the bar named Carl Muller, who attacked Ousmane without warning. Monge and Ousmane tried to stop Carl, and finally Monge used a taser gun on him, killing Carl on the spot. He had a plethora of drugs in his system that resulted in a sudden cardiac arrest. Ousmane also found a tattoo on Carl’s neck that led the cops to a security company called Securitec, which ran a white supremacist society called Sons of Clovis. At the HQ of Securitec, Ousmane met their leader, Goran Jurdik, who told him that Carl was a member and even had a locker inside the facility. Coincidentally, Monge found a Tokarev inside Carl’s locker that established the fact that Carl killed Kevin.
Chief Mercier hurriedly closed the case as soon as the murder weapon was recovered and asked the Paris cops to go home, but Ousmane found everything too easy, probably a well planned conspiracy to send them back. He decided to stay back and plunge into the mystery further, and he followed police Chief Mercier and kept a close eye on Antoine Brunner, the racist mayor of the province and leader of the France Vive Party. Inside Brunner’s house, Ousmane and Monge found a secret basement from where Brunner had been planning a coordinated attack on various religious spots that belonged to people whom he considered outsiders. His main target was an immigrant center, as Brunner and his fellow white supremacists wanted to inflict fear among the immigrants and drive them out of their country. Kevin found out about Brunner’s grand plan that scared him and decided to inform Chief Mercier about it, unaware of the fact that Mercier was working for Brunner too and passionately shared his racist beliefs. Probably, Brunner asked Goran Jurdik to send his best man, Carl, to kill Kevin Marchal so as to erase the evidence of their plan.
‘The Takedown’ Ending Explained – Did Ousmane & Monge Arrest Antoine Brunner?
As soon as Ousmane and Monge found out about Brunner’s coordinated attacks, they shared the locations with Alice Gauthier and decided to stop Brunner before it was too late. They arrived at Brunner’s secret hideout, where he was motivating his fellow patriots with a hate speech. Ousmane asked Monge to divert their attention while Ousmane threw away their weapons into the river to sabotage their mission. However, suddenly Alice arrived at the scene and attacked Ousmane, thus establishing the fact that she was working with Brunner from the beginning and had been only helping Ousmane and Monge to keep an eye on their actions so that they wouldn’t sabotage Brunner’s plan. Ousmane handcuffed Alice to a car and tried to save Monge, who was surrounded by Brunner’s goons. As soon as Brunner found out that Ousmane had thrown away all their weapons, he decided to travel to the immigrant center to explode it. Alice uncuffed herself and drove Brunner to the immigrant center while Ousmane and Monge followed them.
At the location, Ousmane rammed his vehicle into Alice’s car to stop them. Brunner crawled out of the crushed car and armed the bomb manually, and Ousmane and Monge had only 3 minutes to save the immigrants. Fortunately, they evacuated the premise in time and avoided any human casualties, and as soon as the bomb exploded, a part of the debris fell near Brunner. During the final faceoff, Ousmane and Monge knocked down Brunner, who was later indicted for his ties to a domestic terrorist group.
The case helped Ousmane and Monge bridge their differences and finally cherish their friendship. At this point, Ousmane wanted to help Monge get the recognition that he yearned for, as all the credit for Brunner’s case was taken away by Ousmane’s senior. He called Benoit Meaux, the communications director, who eagerly wanted to make Ousmane the poster boy for the police force. At the end of “The Takedown,” Ousmane requested Benoit to cast Monge instead of him, and probably the department complied to his wishes, which is why at the end of “The Takedown,” we saw Monge shooting for the promotional video. Well, Monge finally got some limelight and a clip to show off after years of failure and rejection to join the crime division. Hopefully, the cop buddies will strike the screen again for a new adventure or to solve a new case in some other part of the city.
“The Takedown” is a 2022 comedy-action film directed by Louis Leterrier.