TAKE THE NIGHT Review: It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses Their Cryptocurrency

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Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Take the Night review says it’s a crypto bro thriller that shows promise for its first-time director, Seth McTigue.

Take the night reviewTake the Night, the feature film debut from writer/director/actor Seth McTigue, opens with quick, urgent shots of masked criminals preparing for some kind of nefarious job, intercut with a young, high-level professional alone in a high rise, working late.

To the strains of highly dramatic opera music, the two elements converge when the gang grabs the CEO in the parking garage and spirits him away in their vehicle.

As it turns out, the thugs have been hired by the wealthy young manager of a multinational corporation who thinks it would be fun to stage the kidnapping of his younger brother, the CEO, as a unique 25th birthday present to him.

But two of the faux kidnappers, also brothers, start to take their job all too seriously when they realize their captive is the heir to a considerable crypto fortune.

While the premise of Take the Night seems an awful lot like the 1997 David Fincher thriller The Game, it shares only surface similarities. Take the Night is less a thriller and more a crime caper that delves deeper into both sides of the equation.

No one’s motives are mysterious but it’s still a gripping enough story to keep your attention.

The pairs of brothers share common traits and we get to delve deep into each of their backstories. The birthday boy is Robert Chang (Sam Li), an all-business type who has just been appointed CEO of Chang Imports following the patriarch’s death, while his brash elder brother William (Roy Huang) thinks he should have been given the highest position in the company, and is not happy about the situation.

Their contentious dynamic is similar to the ringleaders of the criminal clique, Chad (Seth McTigue), and his brother Todd (Brennan Keel Cook), as they have recently lost their father as well. In both cases, the deceased dad favored one son over the other, leaving the less-loved one seething with resentment.

Along for the ride are mute tough guy Justin (Antonio Aaron), failed pro basketball prospect Shannon (Shomari Love), and the Changs’ secretary, Melissa (Grace Serrano). These side characters all have their own hidden reasons and motivations, which become clear as the plot unfolds.

While the cast is relatively unknown, they rise to the material admirably and believably. Cinematographer Rainer Lipski achieves a gritty neo-noir feel and he does a good job of making the actual L.A. location look enough like New York to keep us feeling like the characters really are on the east coast.

The music score by Jonas Wikstrand provides the bedrock of the look and feel, conveying the tension and drama throughout without being overly aggressive. It’s the perfect background for the drama and action.

McTigue’s screenplay provides a few twists and a-ha moments, but at its heart, Take the Night is a drama about brothers who are the victims and victors of their own complex family dynamics. The story shows how important a role parental nurture takes, regardless of a family’s status and wealth. McTigue wears a lot of hats here and he shows promise in the process.

If you’re in the mood for drama and subtle thrills, Take the Night is well worth your time.

Not Rated
1 Hour 22 Minutes

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Take the Night review says it’s a crypto bro thriller that shows promise for its first-time director, Seth McTigue.

Did this Take the Night review make you want to see how it all turns out? If so, see where it’s streaming at Fandango Now.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and seen on Rotten Tomatoes. She recently founded the new lifestyle website ReallyRather.com, where celebrities and experts share their 5 favorite things in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, wellness, home and food & drink.

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