Takers, the most recent heist movie to hit the big screen, comes at you in full force with adrenaline-pumping, nail-biting, super-exciting action that rarely stops! It definitely takes you for a ride along with the main players as they attempt to make the most of the “opportunities” that they come across. While this movie is a lot of fun to watch…and on the surface, it is an amazing movie…it is clear that the film, ideas, and script are “taken” from other heist classics. Professional thieves steal a lot of money, have internal struggles and trust issues, revenge is in sight, cops are on their tail, will they get away? Sound familiar? It seems that Hollywood is insistent on making the audience choose between the bad guys and the badder guys in movies lately. This film is no different. Takers does not give very much in the way of originality. Let’s “Take” a look, shall we?
An interesting mix of cast and characters for this film add to some of the reasons to go see it. Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Michael Ealy, Idris Elba, Paul Walker, T.I., even Zoe Saldana all star in Takers. While several of them did well in their acting performance, Matt Dillon outperformed them all. His character’s development, humanity, and struggles as a burnt out detective make him and his performance to be the one that shines through…surprisingly. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see all of the actors/musicians in this film. And while they definitely add to the reasons to watch it, they also are part of the reasons to not. I was thoroughly disappointed in a few things with the cast and movie overall.
- T.I. still can’t act. He was exactly the same in the movie as he is in his music videos, on MTV, and reality tv (which is MTV).
- Idris Elba and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (both London-born actors) used their accents that, although natural to them, seemed very forced and unnatural in the movie. I suppose watching them in other roles in which they stifle their accent made their use of it in this film detract from their dialogue.
- Zoe Saldana barely spoke and is barely seen in the film. You would think, after two great blockbusters (Star Trek, Avatar), that they might include her a little bit more.
- The movie borrowed way too much from other heist films. The writers most likely took the scripts of Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job, and The Count of Monte Cristo; put them in a blender; added a few music stars and a shaky-handed camera crew; mixed it all together with GQ suits and cars; and Voila: “A Take Shake!” And…
- While there were a few twists, the movie was way too predictable.
Enough with the disappointments…get on with the good stuff!! What was great?
- The action! The heart-pounding action! Oh wow!! The trailer doesn’t even clue you in to the amount of action that is in this film. From shootouts to explosions to an amazing parkour chase scene led by Chris Brown, this film doesn’t let up with the action once it starts! Even good ol’ “pouty face” Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) has his fair share of action. I must admit I liked him in his role. He reminded me of Brad Pitt’s character in Ocean’s Eleven.
- The relationships. Chris Brown and Michael Ealy play brothers in the film whose relationship is real and down to earth. The animosity between T.I. and the entire team of thieves brings a feeling of tension to the screen that causes you to almost squirm in your seat as you watch. The actors did an excellent job in portraying the humanity (or inhumanity) of their characters, for the most part.
- The action…again! I sat in anticipation as I wondered what would happen at the end of this chase scene, or that fight sequence, or this gun shootout, or that heated argument.
- The style. The swagger of the characters and their cars, suits, shoes, everything! Very much reminiscent of Ocean’s.
- The few surprises that the movie did have allowed for character and plot depth that made the movie more interesting. Without it, Takers would be nothing more than a cheap copy.
Overall, it’s worth seeing. I wish there would have been more thought given to the originality of the plot and characters. I believe it is somewhat unfortunate when you can compare almost every aspect/character/plot of a movie to another one in the past. That is the case with Takers. I have mixed feelings on this film as a movie altogether. I really enjoyed watching it, but saw several opportunities for improvement and was bored with knowing what was to come. (“In order for closure of this plot ‘such and such’ has to happen. Here it comes!”) It is a great action/adventure flick…and I recommend it as such. But don’t go to it expecting an award-winning performance given from any of the cast. Give them your money, trust me, they will gladly take it from you!
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
–The Sp1der’s Score: I VERY generously give a 7 out of 10 stars “Takers” …it should be a 5.
…I would like to point out that it was recently RE-pointed out to me that the poster for this movie is ridiculously photoshopped! Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, and T.I.’s head to body proportion is absolutely horrible! What happened to their necks??!!