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The Take
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Take More at IMDbPro »

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Index 31 reviews in total 

33 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Awful. A Waste of Money

1/10
Author: minigiraffe6 from Illinois, US
20 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Very disappointed. I thought this was going to be an action movie.

What I got was a boring family drama that is more like a bad after-school special.

Felix (Leguizamo) works as a bank driver in the slums of L.A. and he's the all-around good guy with loving family (Rosie Perez plays the cliché role of the wife). Then he's shot in the head and becomes a real angry person. The police think it was an inside job and suspect Leguizamo, who in turn tries to find who really did the robbery.

Yes, we've seen this story before hundreds of times, and done much better. If there was more action and less family drama, this might have been watchable, but this is a boring, predictable movie that will put you to sleep.

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22 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Another "where's the tripod?" movie

4/10
Author: F_Jenkins from la
1 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie could have been better with a competent director, but instead we get a guy who, for some reason, refuses to use a tripod. It's almost entirely hand held. Not steadicam, just a guy holding the camera while riding a skateboard. Even in simple scenes with people talking in a room, the camera is swaying all over the place? Can someone please tell me why this is supposed to make the movie going experience better? A good cast is wasted here. For some reason the cops think Leguazamo was in on the take, despite the fact he would have been completely aware of the cameras watching them at the company's home base. Surely someone from the department would have done some simple CSI work on where the downed employee was who supposedly shot Leguazamo and where the actual person had to have been for the bullet to enter where it did? It's a little far fetched.

The last scene where Leguazamo is chasing the bad guy with his gun in plane sight was funny. You can't drive two blocks in downtown LA without a cop driving by. Unless you're chasing a bad guy apparently. And the one cop who happens to be where there's a traffic jam, gets taken down easily.

There was a good movie in there somewhere. The cast was all great, just the script needed some work and it needed a real director. When I come across a movie nowadays that doesn't use the shaky-swing the camera all over the place technique, it's like a present.

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24 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Begins Well, But Then Turns Dumb. Is It Too Much To Ask For A Little Physical Reality?

3/10
Author: Michael McGonigle (mmcgonigle@philamuseum.org) from Philadelphia, PA.
11 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At the end of this film, as the hero John Leguizamo is chasing the villain Tyrese Gibson down the crowed streets of LA, Gibson fires his weapon at Leguizamo multiple times.

In the cross fire, one innocent passerby is shot and a cop is killed, but there are no other casualties despite there being at least 100 other people standing around watching. I understand that the laws of physics in movie-land mean that stray bullets never hit anyone else down the block, but this is pushing it a bit.

And apparently, no one in downtown LA has a cell phone, or if they do, they have either all used up their minutes or their batteries are dead because no one even attempts to call the police.

Furthermore, I counted 18 shots fired by Tyrese Gibson (give or take a couple) and he never re-loads his handgun. Is this even possible? Perhaps it is. I am not a handgun expert so I do not know what kind of gun Gibson had or how many bullets are in each clip.

One thing I do know is that if I am more interested in counting the gunshots during the climax of this film instead of caring about the resolution of the story, then something has gone very wrong with the film in question.

This is a shame because The Take starts off so well and for over half its running time it is an original and compelling story, only to fall apart at the end with cliché dramatics, dumb characterizations and ludicrous plot points, not to mention physical impossibilities that would have embarrassed Jerry Bruckheimer, and we know how impervious he is to cinematic embarrassment.

John Leguizamo (a personal favorite actor) stars as a family man who works as a driver for an armored car company. One Friday, he is out on his usual run when his truck is hijacked and with a gun held to his head and the threat that his family will be harmed if he does not cooperate, Leguizamo is forced to take the bad guy Tyrese Gibson (in a one note performance) around collecting money from the various businesses that have a contract with the armored car company.

Back at the company garage, the bad guys shoot several other guards and in a final moment of meanness, Gibson shoots Leguizamo in the head and leaves him for dead.

At this point, we follow Leguizamo as he is taken to the hospital, undergoes some of the most realistic brain surgery I have ever seen in a film and then goes through a slow, difficult recovery complete with slurred speech, wild mood swings and a general depression and frustration at the turn his life has taken and how it affects his family.

This is all great stuff and not usually seen in films for the mass audience. Even the FBI investigation of the robbery (why the FBI is involved and not the LA Police, I do not know) begins properly with the always good Bobby Cannavale determining early on that the heist must have been an inside job (we know that it was), but then things turn stupid when they try to build a case against Leguizamo as the inside guy even though the FBI knows for certain that Leguizamo's partner that night was definitely the guy involved.

This makes no sense what so ever and neither does Leguizamo deciding he has to track down Tyrese Gibson himself. It is at this point, just past the halfway point that The Take begins to devolve into a clichéd muddle of astounding proportions. I have never seen a film start out so good and end up so bad as this one does and it's a real shame.

For the record, John Leguizamo is very good in the early part of the film and I am glad to see he still doesn't mind playing a character who's a bit of an asshole. Rosie Perez is good too and I get the feeling a lot of her performance may have been cut out of the final film.

One thing I did not like was the strange look of the film. It has a dark grainy look with desaturated colors in a weird and limited palette.

I have no idea what the filmmakers were trying to do with this color choice, but it was very annoying and there was not a single shot in the entire film where I said, "Hey, that's a nice shot". Not even at sunset and I have seen LA at sunset.

But then, to me no LA film has ever looked as good as when cinematographer Theo Van de Sande filmed Miracle Mile there 20 some odd years ago presenting us with the most beautiful nighttime cityscapes I have ever seen.

The director of The Take, Brad Furman was at the film today and held a brief Q & A after the screening and while I was discussing my disappointment in the film outside the theater, someone pointed him out to me, but the young man (who seemed like a decent sort) was engaged in conversation with some fans who obviously liked the film. He didn't need me to rain on his parade.

Besides, I'm not entirely sure the faults in the film were the directors. I have a suspicion the script let him down or maybe the producers insisted on something more cliché at the finale to make up for the originality at the beginning.

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61 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

acting OK... but very dumb.

1/10
Author: bbenkeys from United States
14 April 2008

Well, it was nothing what I expected- it was a lot worse.

There was no development of character and there were so many scenes that were irrelevant to the plot and totally cliché. Lenguizamo did a fair job but oh boy, he can't save the film. Rosie Perez is fun to watch.

The gritty, dark look of the film was overdone, hard to watch and it gave me a huge headache.

If you want to see a great gritty film, watch Memento.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend that one, unless you're a huge fan of Lenguizamo.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Moody Crime and Revenge.

5/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
25 March 2010

John Leguizamo is an earnest security guard in Los Angeles who loves his wife, Rosie Perez, and his two children. He is coerced into taking part in a robbery of an armored car by three husky guys led by Tyrese Gibson, who threatens his family if he doesn't comply. A couple of other guards are caught by surprise and deliberately murdered by the thieves. Gibson shoots Leguizamo in the head and arranges the crime scene in such a way as to make him look guilty.

Leguizamo manages to survive. He's comatose for a while but eventually recovers, as much as you can recover from a bullet wound in the frontal lobe. "His personality may be changed," the surgeon warns his wife.

Indeed it does change. Frontal lobotomies were discovered by means of accidents. They tended to cut down on the more virulent hallucinations but they also made patients' manners coarser and impaired their ability to plan for the future. That is, these kinds of wounds, whether medically induced or otherwise, kneecap your judgment.

Leguizamo is thrown into easy rages over trivial things. He can't satisfy his wife anymore and smashes furniture, driving his family away. He sasses the cops and the cynical FBI agent coolly rendered by Bobby Cannavale. Then he undertakes to find the criminals on his own, skipping out from under surveillance. There are only a few chases and shootings.

It's a taut and credible story and the performances are good. Leguizamo doesn't exemplify celluloid magic, and Gibson, as the chief malefactor, isn't given the kind of non-stereotypical license that, say, Delroy Lindo is, in some of Quentin Tarantino's work. But Cannavale is just fine and Rosie Perez does as well here as she's done anywhere else. Her features are more lined, her dimples deeper, and she's not twenty years old anymore but who is?

The movie's virtues are almost destroyed by the direction, photography, and editing. They are to the film's integrity what that bullet was to Leguizamo's brain.

It's not as bad as the last two "Bourne" movies -- but it's pretty bad. The camera wobbles all over the place. There are instantaneous cuts, some negative shots. I don't have the technical vocabulary to describe the photography but it's high contrast. There were times when I thought the images would lapse into nothing more than blinding light sources and reflections, leaving the remainder of the screen entirely black. A scene in the OR is shot with the lighting mostly coming from the side, so that the gaping wound in which the doc's forceps are probing is a deep, dark void. And this is an operating room! The pallet seems to vary from white and black to gloomy green.

Sometimes this sort of thing, done in moderation, works splendidly, as in "Seven." Other cop/crime stories of unimpeachable quality haven't used this faddish stuff at all -- "L. A. Confidential," "To Live and Die in L. A.", not to mention "Chinatown." I mean, really, there is a simple extended close up of a cell phone -- and the camera oscillates from side to side like the head of a snake in a fairy tale.

Well, I guess we don't want to bore the fourteen-year-old minds in the audience, who would be snoring if five minutes passed without some kind of action -- if not the characters, then the camera. Still, it's bad enough in mindless action movies but this story deals as much with the drama of Leguizamo and his family as it does with the unfolding of the crime plot.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

10/10
Author: Kristen Mallard
13 April 2011

Woah.

The Take is a drama starring John Leguizamo, Tyrese Gibson, Bobby Carnavale, and Rosie Perez. Leguizamo plays an armored truck driver named Felix who is shot in the head in a robbery by Tyrese Gibson. The film mainly involves the aftermath of the shooting and how everyone was affected by it as well as Felix wanting revenge.

This movie is excellent. Leguziamo gives an extraordinary and very powerful performance. Tyrese Gibson gives the best performance of his career as a very brutal and frightening villain. Rosie Perez and bobby Carnavale were also excellent.

There are plenty of reasons to hate this movie. It's low budget. It's slow paced. The camera is a bit shaky at times. But this didn't bother me. The storyline is very engaging and the conclusion is very intense and satisfying. Get past a few plot holes and you'll be satisfied.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Take an hour and a half out of your time to catch up on this seemingly buried 2008 crime drama, as a single shot affects a man and those close to him.

6/10
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England
8 April 2010

Drawing on clear influences from recent gritty, crime infused pieces such as 2000's Traffic and 2002's Narc, 2008 film The Take seems to have come and gone at a Canadian film festival before being banished to stores so as to increase profits on DVDs. It would seem there was nary a distributer at said Canadian festival willing to invest in Brad Furman's film; an overall shame, not a crying one but a shame none-the-less. The Take squeezes an amount of substance to do with male machismo; the tearing apart of a family unit; the sub-genre of the vigilante movie and the dealing of the aftermath of a heist plus all the crime drama conventions of mistrust between gangsters: honour amongst thieves, if you will, into 96 minutes. However, all too often these ideas jostle uncomfortably with one another – a persistent vying for power, a struggle between genres and sub-genres; content and study. This renders The Take less interesting than it might have been, but good enough to see in order to observe a moderately interesting, well acted independent American drama.

I think the film thinks it's more powerful and more affecting than it is in actualité. The tale is of a righteous man wronged, and the subsequent fall out it has on both his life and the lives of those around him. But for all the substance, for all the promise and for all the content; to have The Take boil down to a chase sequence on foot that, again, certainly thinks it has more of a sense of drama involved than it actually does, was just a mite disappointing and anti-climatic. Furman likes his visual tricks and gimmicks, with someone somewhere failing to realise that spectacle and visualness ought to have been secondary to this screenplay's agenda as gritty, Hispanic-American living conditions; seams in a family becoming unravelled; a man loosing his mind and sense of masculinity plus brutal shootings during a heist sequence were the order of the day. Furman tells the story with every trick in the book: the visual flair ingredient to the editing and camera work; the speeding up of footage; transitions and the hand-held camera technique on top of a number of scenes set in rooms that are close to all being entirely blacked out for sake of mood.

John Leguizamo plays the role of Felix De La Pena, a man of Hispanic descent living with his wife Marina (Perez) and their two kids in Los Angeles. De La Pena is a nice, upstanding man with a great deal of fondness for his family and the work he does. His large friend-base plus the fact his job sees him adopt a certain role of honour and trust in driving an armoured truck instills a sense of responsibility on top of the other positive conventions. But one day, things go spectacularly wrong when Tyrese Gibson's criminal Adell holds up the truck; has De La Pena drive it back to the HQ before robbing the place of its money and fatally wounding De La Pena. We've seen people shot following heists in films many-a time before, usually hard-bodied; no nonsense criminals in hard boiled neo-noirs, but they'd always get back up again after a brief lay off and plough on ahead, seeking money and revenge. The Take's sequence of wounding feels grainer than usual, De La Pena's pained reaction to his injuries are stark and cutting in ways that I've rarely felt a gunshot wound in a film before. The injury feels more painful than usual because of the film's delicate buildup of the victim: a well mannered; rather slim, though not necessarily 'weak', and supremely upstanding character in De La Pena. From here, a process of recovery for both the mind, body and soul begins as FBI agent Steve Perelli (Cannavale) hunts the wrong-doers.

It's here the film beds down for a long stretch of content similar to one another. De La Pena's sense of self vanishes and he gets a lot angrier a lot more often than usual, with Leguizamo really rather brilliantly portraying this new character: this fresher, more frothing at the mouth person. He installs security equipment in a fit of paranoia and undergoes a process of long recovery that sees him sense a once-present notion of 'manliness' now gone. Subsequently, he cannot make love to his wife; gets agitated as a result and seems to maintain this odd sense of being unable to really 'feel', as if to cry or get upset at the shooting is to fatally expel a sense of male machismo, with an ideology that might read something like: 'men don't cry - men get over this sort of thing'.

I wrote a while ago in an observation on a Finnish film from 2006 entitled Lights in the Dusk about the film's over-emphasising on the 'little-guy' in a big situation. In said film, a hapless turnkey is rendered fall guy so a gang of thieves can swipe some diamonds his job it is to contain. I cited 2001's sprawling and maddening heist flick 3000 Miles to Graceland, in which during a heist sequence at a casino, countless numbers of body guards and members of law enforcement are dispatched like the many nameless, faceless bad guys that pop up at you in certain video games, each one of them as fatally injured as the next. The Take, like said Finnish film, rejects the generic notion to follow those perpetrating the heist and instead opts for an unbeaten route down into the gloomy undergrowth of a victim of the shooting recovering. Needless to say, a lot of people that were shot in 3000 Miles to Graceland would've gone through what De La Pena goes through here – it's when these sorts of films dry up that we know we're in trouble. I notice that at the present time, The Take has a lower IMDb rating than 3000 Miles to Graceland: good grief!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What a surprise

10/10
Author: ambercederman
13 April 2011

I got bored several months ago and I saw that this movie was in the instant section, so I watched it. I had never heard of the movie, but I did like the cast. Wow. What an incredible movie. This is a rather slow paced, low budget indie movie directed by Brad Furman (who recently directed the Lincoln Lawyer, another excellent movie). The film tells the story of Felix De le Pena, an armored truck driver who gets shot in the head by a criminal named Adell Baldwin during a robbery. The film revolves around Felix's recovery and the investigation of the robbery. Bobby Carnavale plays a cop investigating the crime, while Rosie Perez plays the wife of Felix. The film ends with an intense and exciting climatic scene. I loved this movie. I thought it was very well made and well executed.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Criminally underrated

10/10
Author: Mike Barnes from United States
13 April 2011

Some of these negative reviews are interesting. Of course you're not wrong, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but come on. One reviewer is complaining about how it's not an action movie, another is complaining about plot holes. You wanna see plot holes? Watch Death Sentence, another revenge film which is rated higher than this despite not making any sense. This film is amazing. The performances are amazing. The story is intriguing and gritty. The ending is really intense. What's with all the hate? sure there are some problems occasionally, but all in all, it's a really, really good movie. I thought it was incredible.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Typical bad indie garbage

2/10
Author: glen-woodcock3 from United States
28 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Take" was just terrible. The locations and the whole feel of the film were cliché. The drama was over the top and badly acted. Apparently it was a low budget movie and it definitely looked like it was made for no money. John Leguizamo's character battles rehabilitation after being shot during a heist. He's also trying to track down the man who did the crime. Sounds good right? Wrong!! It's terribly boring.

Leguizamo and Rosie Perez must have gone really low to be in a movie like this. Although they're usually decent actors, here they had very little decent material to work with, and so their performances are fake and amateurish. It takes too long for the story to get going, it's really slow, and the action is lame and predictable. I'm just glad I saw this at a friend's house and didn't have to pay a cent for it. 2/10

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