Funny man John Leguizamo gets in touch with his furious and fiery side in The Take, and that transitional extreme mood swing is surprisingly impressive.
Together with the never disappointing Rosie Perez, this designated conjugal pair here set the sparks flying in multiple ways, as married with children inner city spouses in dangerous meltdown.
Leguizamo is Felix in The Take, a dutiful LA armored-car security guard who’s taken hostage while on his routine rounds one day, after his partner mysteriously disappears when they stop off for takeout.
The gang hijacks the armored truck and forces Felix to drive around and pick up the day’s receipts, under threat of having his wife and children killed if he balks.
During one stop, the thugs gun down Felix and murder a security guard stationed there. Left near death and in a coma, Felix awakes to find himself brain injured with chronic memory loss and sustained emotional trauma, and also implicated in masterminding the heist.
While being tailed by the suspicious LAPD and roaming around town to track down the real thieves, Felix also struggles to hold together his disintegrating marriage as his personality turns frighteningly unpredictable and increasingly violent.
Brad Furman’s The Take is in many ways your typical Ordinary Joe vigilante crime thriller, and with far too many stock stereotypical menacing black characters tormenting everybody around them.
But Leguizamo’s potent, multidimensional performance as a brain-injured Latino husband and father torn between his righteous rage and trying to make positive sense of a chaotic world, lends to this eloquent slice-of-life neighborhood mood piece a passion and depth that elevate it far above your typical crime drama.