Brad Furman's The Take (2007) is the very definition of a meh movie. You could take it. You could leave it. It's neither great nor particularly bad. Just there. At first glance it is the kind of movie that makes you wonder why it was banished to the direct-to-video shelves rather than shown in theaters. I mean, the cast is pretty great. John Leguizamo, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Perez. And the trailer looks pretty solid.
So what's wrong? Nothing, really. It just never lives up to the potential that the story would lend itself to. Leguizamo plays Felix, an armored truck driver who is held up at gunpoint and used as an accessory to a heist. When a bullet to the back of the head fails to kill him, Felix is left struggling on the long road to recovery while a pair of police officers seem to think he was directly involved in the robbery -- despite all evidence to the contrary. So Felix sets out to clear his name and get revenge. Kind of.
And there's the real problem. The film never commits itself to being one kind or another. It definitely wants to be a brutal crime film. But it isn't. It definitely wants to be a touching family drama. But we don't spend enough time getting to know the family. And it certainly ramps itself up to be a revenge movie. But then it pulls back as if in fear of sending Felix too far over the edge.
The result is the kind of film you just shrug at. It'll kill 96 minutes, but you won't remember much of it once you're done.
Sony's DVD is also pretty bare bones, with the usual making-of, commentary and trailer. If you're a fan of Leguizamo, Gibson or Perez, it might be worth a look -- but ultimately it isn't really satisfying enough to recommend.