Take Away coasts on the warmth of its ensemble cast.Vince Colosimo and Stephen Curry are well cast as odd couple opposites, who run competing Melbourne fish and chips stores separated only by a butcher (played by co-writer Dave O’Neil). They each employ “assistant managers”, Rose Byrne and Nathan Phillips, and unite to fight the arrival of multinational fast food chain “Burgies”, its supercilious manager (Matthew Dyktynski) and his young offsider Tarquin (Tom Budge, “Pickles” from Australian Rules).
Curry has a lot of fun being a slob, Phillips is endearingly dim-witted, Byrne more vibrant than I’ve ever seen her and Brett Swain (the dad in Mallboy) also funny as a local tow-truck driver who seems to like the company of his male mates. A lot. Director Marc Gracie hasn’t made a film for ten years, but he’s done a lot of TV comedy in the interim, and he gets the pacing right. The material is thin, and a lot of it familiar, but I enjoyed the McDonalds pot shots (the staff at Burgies seem mostly to be 7 year-olds). He sets up the characters neatly at the start, and doesn’t wait too long to introduce the main plot. The climax is well staged and doesn’t go on too long, and there are no laborious double endings.The bizarre 18th century prologue is redundant, although I guess it sets the tone, and I don’t think Gracie or writers O’Neil and Mark O’Toole knew which joke to end on. So they pick an off-colour prison sodomy gag (go figure). But Take Away is generally light, funny and a successful vehicle for its charismatic players and the sort of film I’d have no qualms tuning in to again on the small screen.