Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: The Take
In the first few minutes of the film, Leguizamo is seen with his wife, played by Rosie Perez, and children as he gets ready to go to work. A minute or two after that, a man points a gun at his head and tells Leguizamo that one of his gang is now at his house with his family.
Leguizamo’s character watches helplessly as the gang pulls off the robbery, kills his coworkers, and shoots him in the head. He recovers only to find himself the No. 1 suspect of the police and the FBI.
The beginning will give fans of film noir a flashback to Robert Siodmak’s 1949 film, “Criss Cross” and Steven Soderbergh’s 1995 film, “The Underneath,” in which Burt Lancaster in the first, and Peter Gallagher in the second, play armored car guards involved in robberies. But “The Take” goes off in a completely different direction.
Told in a semi-documentary style with shaky camera work and muted colors rendering parts of Los Angeles even harsher and more dangerous than they already are, the film follows Leguizamo as he tries to recover from his wounds and tries to hold his life together.
Bobby Cannavale as a tough but sympathetic FBI agent is excellent, as always. And Tyrese Gibson as the leader of the hold-up crew is very good in a part that is something of a cliché. But that is not his fault, it is the fault of the writers, Jonas and Josh Pate.
The 96-minute film, directed by Brad Furman, who also made “The Lincoln Lawer,” was unknown to me until it showed up on cable. And it was Leguizamo and Rosie Perez who kept me watching.
(For more links to films and television, see Todd Mason’s site.)