The Take Doesn’t Need Theatrics


Felix De La Pena (John Leguizamo) is an East L.A. armored-car driver who cares deeply for his wife, Marina (Rosie Perez), and their two kids. After he gets shot in the head by a robber (Tyrese Gibson) who gets away, Felix must fend off suspicious federal agents (led by the ever-terrific Bobby Cannavale) while struggling with brain injuries that have left him enraged at the world. The first half of this debut feature from director Brad Furman and screenwriters Joshua and Jonas Pate details the effects of Felix’s injuries on him and his family, and in these sequences, Furman draws superb performances from Leguizamo and Perez, two actors whose hyperactive energy has often been a distraction. Here, they’re centered and completely believable as a hardworking couple whose life has been turned inside out. Their warmth holds The Take together even in the predictable home stretch, when the screenwriters shift into revenge-thriller mode and send Felix out across the city to hunt down the gunman (a role so underwritten that the usually charismatic Gibson is left to glower like a central-casting hood). Furman stages the final foot chase with brio, but one wishes that he’d found a way to stay at the house with Felix and Marina, who don’t need guns to thrill.