BFS Entertainment is cashing in on the Tom Hardy craze, with him having both Lawless and The Dark Knight Rises out this year, it makes sense for them to re-release the crime saga The Take. The four episode mini-series was shown in 2009 in the U.K. and was based off of a novel written by Martina Cole. The series follows Hardy as Freddie Jackson, a criminal underling that has just been released from doing a stint in jail. He’s being backed by Ozzy (Brian Cox), who has protected him on the inside and has big plans for him in the real world. Freddie and his cousin, Jimmy (Shaun Evans) are both eager to start making big money and rise up in the ranks, but its going to cost them more than they’ve ever imagined. Spanning over a few decades and focusing on the sociopathic Freddie Jackson, The Take is a gritty take on rise and fall of a crime family and boasts an impressive cast that make the material shine.
Spread across the four episodes, we see the Jackson family from the early 80’s up into the mid 90’s, that shows how much crime had changed in U.K. Going from robbing banks to the underground rave and drug culture that fueled it illustrate the rise of the Jackson family. Hardy and Evans do a fantastic job at showing how their empire came to be. While they’re cousins, they act more like brothers, which eventually leads to their sibling rivalry for power struggles within their own outfit. Brian Cox plays up his typical gangster role, as the reserved, yet menacing Ozzy, but still manages to show his character as a father figure to both of the up and coming Jackson’s. While Hardy is most certainly a standout in the entire cast, it is his real life fiancée, Charlotte Riley as Jimmy’s wife Maggie. Maggie goes through all types of trauma’s throughout the entirety of the show and to see her come out on top and have her wits about her is a grand portrayal than the typical mobster wife.
Hardy is definitely magnetic as his role of Freddie Jackon, much in the same vein as his portrayal as Charles Bronson in Nicolas Rinding Refn’s Bronson, but not as charming. From the very get go we are shown how Freddie doesn’t care about any authority, which even includes Ozzy, but that’s one thing that makes him mesmerizing. It’s all about seeing how far his character will be able to go, until the point when his bad streak catches up to him and Freddie is the one receiving bodily harm.
The two disc set of The Take from BFS has a few interviews with the cast, as well as an interview with Martina Cole. Each of the segments are about two minutes each and give a bit of insight to the various characters and the original author’s vision of the story. Even though it may be a bit slim in way of features, this set of The Take is a terrific one and as a fan of Hardy’s work, it should definitely be in someone’s library of fans of the man’s work, as well as aficionado’s of the crime genre. Reccommended!