"Takers" Movie Review (2010)

8/28/2010 Posted by Admin


Movie Review

Directed by John Luessonhop, Written by Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, Luessenhop, Avery Duff and John Rogers, 107 minutes, Rated PG-13

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

If you've seen "The Italian Job," "Heat," and "Ocean's Eleven," it's very likely that you'll see everything in "Takers" coming from a mile away. There are fewer genres more overdone than heist thrillers, and "Takers" falls victim to pretty much every cliche in the book, but when it really hits its stride at about the halfway mark, it becomes quite an exciting experience.

The plot is pretty by-the-book. A group of pro bank robbers--John Rahway (Paul Walker), Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba), AJ (Hayden Christensen), Jake Attica (Michael Ealy) and his brother Jesse (Chris Brown)--pull off "the last job" and plan on riding off into the sunset with their loads of dough, but before they can head out of the country, an old partner, Ghost (T.I.) is paroled and pulls them into a big job that promises a vast reward--but is Ghost to be trusted? And will their plot be brought to a screeching halt by a crazed detective, Jack Welles (Matt Dillon), and his partner Eddie (Jay Hernandez)?

The film is quite a slow burn at first. After the slight excitement of the bank heist that makes up the film's opening, there's a lot of time taken to view the lives of the characters and get the audience prepared to see them pull off the big job--odd, really, considering nothing we're shown is put to effective use in the rest of the film, outside of some decent background involving Elba's character and his strung-out sister. His story would be the emotional backbone of the film if it were given more time to develop, but as it is, he and Dillon are forced to carry the load with the small bit of material they're given. Dillon has some trouble, mostly because his character is based pretty much entirely in cop drama cliches, but Elba does pretty well with very little. That's been Elba's MO in most of his film work of late anyway.

As the pieces all start falling into place and the big job finally begins panning out, the film really takes on a new life. There are several absolutely breathtaking action sequences. Hayden Christensen gets a chance to shine in a Bourne-esque close-combat fight sequence early on, and Chris Brown is absolutely astounding in a parkour chase sequence near the film's climax. The tension all builds perfectly to the conclusion, and as cliched as it all is, the direction and raw performances are so solid that it still manages to work.

The most surprising standout must be T.I., who plays his smooth-talking criminal mastermind to chilling and amusing perfection. It's definitely not a subtle performance, but the rapper has a lot of fun with the role and he completely steals the show at every opportunity.

The film is far from the best of its genre, and the cliches (complete with walking away from explosions and Mexican standoffs) get a bit tiring, as does the really hideous Michael Mann-inspired digital cinematography, but it's enjoyable at its best and tolerable at its worst.

Grade: C+

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes