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Genre: Crime/Thriller
Starring: John Leguizamo, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Perez, Bobby Cannavale, Yul Vazquez, Jake Muxworthy, Matthew Hatchette, Laurence Mason, Roger Guenveur Smith, Carlos Sanz
Director: Brad Furman
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language and Sexual Scene)
Year Made: 2008




- Commentary with Director Brad Furman and Cinematographer Lukas Ettlin
- "Behind the Scenes of THE TAKE" Featurette
- Deleted Scenes



Languages: English/Thai
Subtitles: English/Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 39 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment
Official Website:




Felix De La Pena (Emmy® Award-winner John Leguizamo) is an armored car driver struggling to make ends meet for his wife Marina (Rosie Perez) 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 (Tyrese Gibson) 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.


I guess you wouldn't exactly classify John Leguizamo as your classic leading man actor, and local audiences would probably be hard pressed to name any one of his movies, despite appearances in M Night Shyamalan's latest movie The Happening, and in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! and Romeo+Juliet.

In The Take, John Leguizamo stars as Felix De La Pena, your typical average joe living an average life, putting food on the table for his family with his security guard job. His day to day duties include driving the company armoured truck to pick up cash from customers and absolutely nothing would have prepared him for a heist quite unexpected, especially when it has to do with betrayal from the inside. In Robocop and Death Wish fashion, the lead perpetrator Adell (Tyrese Gibson) thought that he had gotten rid of our protagonist with a bullet to the head, but as Fate would have it, Felix survives, though the crime scene got doctored to point the finger at him.

So you might think that he'll go ballistic with some major vigilante plot to take down one by one those who had made his life a living hell? Not quite, and there's where The Take becomes a little refreshing. It centers more on Felix's road to recovery, of having to adjust with his mood swings, and reliant on drugs to numb his physical pain, but not the emotional one. In other words, it's more of a drama than high octane action, that allows Leguizamo to showcase his acting chops. Acting opposite him is Rosie Perez as his wife Marina, and here's one spunky lady who in a scene I admire as she doesn't get cowered by the cops.

While it's not your typical mainstream revenge movie per se, action junkies would probably be marginally satisfied with an extended chase sequence on foot, which you don't get a chance to see much of these days, given the preference for spectacular vehicular crashes. But it does seem to take a leaf out of modern techniques in cinematography, whether you like it or not, the shaky cam is here to stay in the films, as are the colours which are strained to a minimum, just to accentuate the gritty street life that the characters lead.

All in all, if you're a fan of Leguizamo, then this film would be something you have to watch. Otherwise, it still makes for an enjoyable movie for an effective story told given its relatively low budget, compared to this year's slate of Hollywood blockbusters. Nothing fancy, but it just works.


There are a couple of special features included in the DVD, though the Deleted Scenes, presented in letterbox format with no available subtitles, run for a total of slightly more than 3 minutes in total, and contains material that doesn’t add value nor will be missed if removed. There is a play all option, and I’d recommend to use that, rather than to individually click on specific scenes, one which runs as short as 15 seconds.

There’s also a standard look Behind the scenes which is quite a standard making-of fare. Containing a discussion between the director Brad Furman and cinematographer Lukas Ettlin, this feature runs just over 18 minutes and is presented in letterbox format. You have now been warned though, that the discussions contained within has spoilers, so watch the movie first before taking a curious peek into what happened on the set.

Lastly, for film buffs, do turn on the Commentary to listen in to the gory technical details as shared by the duo, and for nuggets of information about the movie, like how it was shot in a period of 18 days, and under a budget of a million dollars. With nary a pause, this is quite an informative commentary to sit through if you’re always curious about how films are made and how decisions are decided upon, together with all the background stories during production.


While presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital for its English, Thai and Portuguese language tracks, there isn't much in this movie to max out and strain your speakers. Visual transfer is presented in anamorphic widescreen with no noticeable defect.



Review by Stefan Shih


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. Black Book

. The Shepherd

. Conspiracy

. Cleaner

. Hero Wanted

. Shattered

. Breath

. Cashback

. Your Name Is Justine

. Death Sentence

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. Across The Universe

. The Triplets of Belleville

. The Ten Commandments

. CJ7

. Love Lies Bleeding

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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