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The Take
DVD disk
05.26.2008 By: Mathew Plale
The Take order
Director:
Brad Furman

Actors:
John Leguizamo
Rosie Perez
Tyrese Gibson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After being left for dead and framed for a heist, an armored car driver (Leguizamo) takes the law into his own hands to find the true criminal.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Sometimes a bad movie can be elevated by a fluke good performance. That’s the case in The Take, starring John Leguizamo, who proves, yes, The Pest can act.

The rest of the cast, particularly co-stars Rosie Perez and Tyrese Gibson, are present more or less as stereotypes of characters and recreations of past performances: Perez, as wife Marina, motormouths her lines as usual, while Gibson, as villain Adell Baldwin, is indistinguishable from his bad-boy ways in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

After a heist, armored car driver Felix De La Pena (Leguizamo) is left near-dead, framed, and Vicodin-dependent. And for the first hour or so of The Take, the former family man smashes his TV set, pops pills, and tries to prove his innocence, a feat made much harder by a pair of agents who believe the heist was an inside job conducted by Felix.

And as any true vigilante would, Felix scoffs at the law, sniffing out Adell on his own. Unfortunately, this isn’t until about 25 minutes are left in the movie, shoving us into an extensive foot chase through the streets of Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights, guided by—what else—the ever-annoying handheld cameras. But I suppose this is how we know the film is gritty, since scribes (and twins) Joshua & Jonas Pate opted instead to populate their screenplay with cardboard characters and plotlines.

Only director Brad Furman, as far as the production end goes, has his head on straight, giving his movie the sweaty atmosphere one would hope for. Go in expecting jerky camerawork, thin plot and characters, and one fine dramatic performance from Leguizamo, and The Take just might deliver a good time.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Director Brad Furman and Cinematographer Lukas Ettlin: The two have enough chemistry and stories to keep fans interested. Others are likely to get bored pretty quickly.

Deleted Scenes (3:31): There are four here, titled ‘Baseball Talk,’ ‘Reading,’ ‘Rosey Smokes,’ and ‘Felix is Paranoid.’

A Look Behind the Scenes of The Take (18:16): Very standard making-of featurette, with mucho production tales and ass-kissing. A bit long, too.

Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Worth borrowing from a friend to see John Leguizamo shine. But don't even think about spending more than $4 to see it otherwise.
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