4 stars for Sean Baker's style, not the story, which is mundane and predictable-A day/night in the life of a guy who delivers Chinese take out in NYC. But after Baker's brilliant TANGERINES, I wanted to see this and am pleased that MUBi presented it. In TAKE OUT, we see the development of Sean Baker's "street-style verite", and when his next film comes out, I will be first in line to see it.
The kinetic camera style and slash editing clash nicely with Charles Jang's (mostly) lethargic "Sad Sack" performance. One would not think that a film about a take out delivery guy racing against time to deliver enough orders and make enough tips to help pay off his loan shark debt could be so engrossing...but it is.
Contemporary cinema verite and very well done...what is a simple narrative opens up into a moving story of the struggles of an immigrant in the 'promised land' of the USA and particularly NYC. As viewers we get an illuminating look at the dull but difficult life of a delivery guy trying to earn a living in a country that promises much with the false allure of making it financially separates him from home and family
Alternating between shots of food being prepared and Ming Ding making deliveries, Baker and Tsou create a rhythm that should be boring but which instead creates a fascinating picture of urbanity. A touching story with all the gritty charm a hole in the wall restaurant in Chinatown should have.
Simple film, I enjoy cinema that reminds me of how hard it could be. The message is a reminder of complicated struggles. The entire film you're waiting for something bad to happen to the delivery man. Along the way you see the desperate Hustle of a man trying to get ahead.
What a great little movie. A simple concept - an immigrant delivers take aways over the course of a single day - makes for a surprisingly interesting and documentary-like 90 minutes, despite the fact that there are never any big incidents.
A wonderful example of the humanism at the core of docurealist filmmaking. Yes, the script is a bit lazy at times. The ending should feel like a total cop out, but because the directors have paid such kind attention to the everday nuances of these people's lives, and because the star gives a naturally sympathetic performance, this movie is incredibly affecting.