Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You won't want to take this one

OK, this is a weird one.  I am, as I think most right-thinking individuals are, a huge Robson Green fan.  So I frequently browse Netflix to see if there are any new films featuring him that I haven't seen yet.  I was intrigued to see the "thriller" Take Me listed.  I wasn't really sure what to expect, so I was intrigued to see the series open with Mr. Green and another man in tuxedos in the middle of the woods digging what appears to be a grave.  Hmm, this could be interesting . . .

Unfortunately, no.  The series consists of 6 45-minute episodes, and it really doesn't need to be that long.  The story begins (after the grave-digging scene) with Jack and Kay Chambers moving into a huge newly built house.  It soon comes to light that Kay has been having an affair, and the move to the new house is part of a new beginning for the couple and their two children.

Jack and Kay soon make the acquaintance of their neighbors across the street, the exotically beautiful Andrea and her somewhat slimy husband Doug (who works as a crime scene photographer).  Another neighbor, Lilian, has supposedly gone away on a long vacation to New Zealand.  For various reasons, Jack begins to suspect that perhaps she has actually been killed, and that Doug had something to do with it.  Of course, when he voices his suspicions to his wife Kay, she is dismissive and impatient.  If the story had stuck to this formula (perhaps with more suspicious disappearances being somehow linked to Doug), I think the series could have been interesting.

Instead, it veered off into strange territory.  Soon after moving in to their new house, Jack and Kay are invited to a party at Andrea and Doug's house.  The party is very crowded, and it soon becomes apparent that the purpose of the party is for everyone to engage in a little wife-swapping.  Jack and Kay are surprised and quickly make their getaway, laughing about the whole thing.  Soon afterwards, Jack is driving his daughter home from school when they happen to glimpse Kay leaving a hotel with Jack's best friend.  So what is the fallout of the discovery of this betrayal?  Jack demands that they attend more wife-swapping parties and participate, and Kay agrees to go along with it. SAY WHAT??

So then we are treated to the somewhat ridiculous spectacle of the two of them attending parties where people are quickly, randomly paired off, then retreat to bedrooms with their new partners.  We're never actually shown what Kay gets up to, but Jack doesn't seem to be interested in participating in the activities, even though he does go along with it.  When Jack and Kay are together, they are both unhappy and depressed.  But they keep going to the parties.

Throw into the mix Jack's relationship with his estranged father, who moves in with the family and then suffers serious health problems.  There's also some confusing information about Jack's job, which is very well-paid and apparently involves buying out local, family-owned companies for very little money, and then selling them to large corporations which dismantle the companies and fire everyone.  It was all very confusing.  Jack's job was on the line (so his boss glowering told him many times), but that didn't stop him from creating public scenes in front of clients and behaving in other irrational and totally unbelievable ways.

Fast forward to, oh, the last 15 minutes or so, which are, to give the writers credit, somewhat action packed, if illogical.  After all the mysteries are solved and the loose ends tied up, there is one final twist which, I'm sure, was supposed to leave the audience gasping.  Yawning, more like.

I guess every actor has a few inexplicable choices on his or her resume, and this seems to be one of those misfires.  Still, the scenery was lovely (both shots of the countryside/houses and Mr. Green), so it wasn't a total loss!

Final verdict for Take Me:   Two gherkins, for a promising start, but too many illogical plot twists to have a satisfying outcome

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