Welcome to the Ending Explained for The Takeover, a new cyber-thriller available on Netflix this week. The film is directed by Annemarie van de Mond, and written by Tijs van Marie, and Hans Erik Kraan. The stars Holly Mae Brood, in the main role, and Géza Weisz, Susan Radder, Frank Lammens, and Walid Benmabarek in supporting roles. The movie tells the story of Mel, an ethical hacker who gets involved in some really sketchy business after she messes with the wrong people. People who are adamant about taking out anyone who crosses their way.
The film’s premise feels very much grounded in reality, as in today’s internet environment, companies fight over the rights to our data to maximize their profits through the roof. However, when this personal user information is acquired through unethical means, well, things might get a bit dangerous. The film uses this premise to ignite the plot but then does nothing with it. The film descends very quickly into a chase through the streets of Rotterdam, and even at that level, the film feels generic and forgettable.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for The Takeover. Read at your own risk.
Who Is After Mel Bandison?
The film begins by introducing our main character in spectacular fashion. 10 years in the past, a government institution is being hacked by an unknown source. A renowned hacker named, Buddy, discovers the source, and we find out that it is 16-year-old Mel. Buddy sees the talent in the young woman and decides to take her under his wing and teach her everything he knows. We now jump back to the present, with an older Mel living in Rotterdam and going to work.
Mel now works as a software engineer. She works for a company that has put her in the position of looking at someone else’s code and finding errors and fixing them. Mel’s current job is checking out the code for a series of driverless buses that are about to be launched in the city of Rotterdam. While checking the code, Mel goes on the bus, and she is scanned by one of the buses’ cameras. She checks the code and sees a weird pipeline that shouldn’t be there. Something is taking info out of the bus. She sends a Trojan horse to the source and calls it a day.
We see that, while she works for a legitimate company, Mel continues to use her hacker abilities to create mischief. She, along with two other hackers, hacks criminals and rich people and takes their money from them, and gives it to charities. They pull off job after job with great care and success. Mel is also looking to have a relationship in real life, so she prepares to go out on a date with a man she met on a dating app. The date is a disaster, and the man, Thomas, is equally disappointing.
Later, we see how the group that was taking information from the buses begins to plan something against her. They take a scan of Mel and fake a video where she kills a person, and they also send hitmen after her to her apartment. Mel escapes and goes to the police, but Detective Idriss isn’t convinced by Mel’s story, which is filled with conspiracy and much more. She leaves the police and goes to Thomas’ place, but the hitmen follow her there as well. The pair decide to escape and find a better place to hide.
What Happens With Buddy In The Takeover?
Mel and Thomas escape and decide to go to Buddy’s lair. It seems like while they were friends in the past, something happened between Buddy and Mel, and now he is in hiding. It doesn’t matter, though; Buddy allows Mel and Thomas to hide in his place. Buddy uses his abilities to track the code on the bus to its source. It is revealed that the buses are implanted with some sort of Chinese code, that takes biometrics, and scenes of people riding the buses and sends them to a Chinese company. This is how they got Mel’s scan and faked the video of her killing a person.
Mr. Rogers, working for the Chinese company, arrives at the place, and the group decides to escape. However, it is too late for Buddy, who defends Mel until her last moments. Rogers shoots Buddy in the head, killing him instantly. Mel and Thomas escape, and she asks her hacker friends for help. Investors are getting ready to try the buses. She needs to stop it before the buses go live to the public. Idriss goes to the bus company and confronts the CEO of the company, and something seems definitely weird. Idriss begins to see Mel’s story as a real possibility.
Mel gets into the server that handles the computing power for the buses, she tries to delete the code, but she is stopped by Rogers. Part of the servers are destroyed, so the bus that is being used for a demonstration to investors goes berserk, and it is on a trajectory to fall from the highway into the water. Idriss arrives at the servers and captures Rogers, but also allows Mel to do her thing and try to stop the bus. For that to happen, Thomas will need to jump into the bus and connect her directly to the bus.
Thomas goes full action hero and manages to connect Mel directly to the bus, and she manages to stop the bus before it falls into the water, killing all the passengers. Mel and Thomas save the day, and they are released, while Rogers and the CEO of the bus company go to jail. After everything that happened, it seems that Mel and Thomas do make a good team, and Mel might try to give the relationship a try. In one last message, Thomas gives all her resources to Mel now that he is dead, so she can work on bigger cases in the future.