The Take (2007)
Felix De La Pena is an armored car driver struggling to make ends meet for his wife Marina and two kids in East LA's Boyle Heights neighborhood. But, their lives are thrown into chaos after Felix miraculously survives a violent on-the-job hijacking led by Adell Baldwin, a merciless criminal driven by power and greed. Now facing a difficult recovery and struggling with a nasty new temper, Felix becomes obsessed with tracking down his attackers before they frame him for the crimes they committed.
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Critic Reviews for The Take
John Leguizamo knocks it out of the park as an armored car driver in The Take, which is quite a bit better than you'd expect from a low-budget thriller that's getting a token theatrical release a month ahead of its DVD debut.
Perez and Leguizamo make an entirely believable couple, and director Brad Furman creates an intense undercurrent of intimacy between the audience and his haunted hero.
Mr. Furman, who also directs music videos, has given the movie, shot by Lukas Ettlin, a bleached-out, unglossy look. Occasionally the visuals seem overly stylized, but Mr. Furman knows enough to showcase his stars' unvarnished performances.
This winning combination of neighborhood indie and old-school Hollywood B movie is the kind of film that doesn't flinch from the sight of a bullet being removed from human flesh.
Furman stages the final foot chase with brio, but one wishes that he'd found a way to stay at home with Felix and Marina, who don't need guns to thrill.
Production values are tops, and Lukas Ettlin's athletic camerawork -- coursing through the streets of Boyle Heights and other Los Angeles locations -- adds a kinetic element to a film that is half thriller, half psychodrama.
Things never quite come together and the central plot focus of the family drama is never plausible enough to make for compelling cinema.
Funny man John Leguizamo gets in touch with his furious and fiery side in The Take, and that transitional extreme mood swing is surprisingly impressive.
Indie director Brad Furman has unleashed a powerful low budget thriller that makes good use of the talents of John Leguizamo as well as those of supporting performers Tyrese Gibson and Rosie Perez.
Abundantly gritty and atmospheric, The Take is marked with many of the errors of a first feature, and succeeds almost entirely through exceptional performances by stars John Leguizamo and Rosie Perez.
Audience Reviews for The Take
When I first read the premise for this film, I thought I was looking at some kinda caper flick where a bunch of working class stiffs band together to get one over on their corporate employers. I got one part right: the film is about a violent hijacking, but the film focuses more on the tragic aftermath. People are murdered in cold blood, and those who walk away with their lives are damaged physically and psychically. I admire John Leguizamo for not just doing comedy, but for taking on more emotionally devastating roles. He and Rosie Perez brought a realness to their characters. It was like sitting in on a family destroyed by a random act of violence. I can't really critique Tyrese's performance, because his character felt so one-dimensional. All he brought to the table was the quintessential villain with no redeeming qualities. You don't really feel anything for him, and I don't know if that was the intent of the film or if Gibson needs to work on his depth. Either way: kudos to Leguizamo. Great performance.More
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