14 Sep

Title: Takers
Year: 2010
Director: John Luessenhop
Writers: Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop, Avery Duff
Starring: Matt Dillon, Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, T.I., Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Zoe Saldana, Johnathon Schaech
MPAA Rating: PG-13, intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language
Runtime: 107 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 4.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 30%

The pacing in Takers is rather satisfying, but unfortunately that’s about it for the things that I thought were commendable about this one. The actors, while all doing an okay job, have to deal with some seriously two-dimensional characters and draw their lines from a script that doesn’t offer much, neither dialogue nor plot-wise, there’s just no emotional side to these performances, and they really needed that to make this one succeed.

This is just a film that was seemingly more worried about how it looked than anything else. The style of the film is actually pretty cool, whether it’s the locations or the clothes, this is a film that looks good. But alas, as we all know, you can’t go through life, or movies, just looking good, there has to be some substance to you, and this is a film with none of that, just one with one too many action pieces and dialogue worthy of a sixth grader who has seen a couple of these films.

If you’re wondering what a “taker” is in the first place, I can refer you to a line in the film delivered by Paul Walker’s character: “We’re takers. We take things.” and yes, that’s the sort of lines this film offers by the dozen, completely cringe-worthy. And here we have this gang of five takers who we first see on a bank heist and who we learn have a couple of cops going after them, and then they come up with this new heist plan, which involves a group of Russian mobsters and that just thoroughly sucks.

If it sounds like I’m dissing on this film quite a lot, well, I guess I am, because it does have quite a lot to hate, one of the main things being the performance given by the rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris, who plays Ghost, the taker who was just let loose on parole and who wants to come back with his old gang. This is a guy who seriously needs to just stick to his music career. Add that performance to the overall horrible script and the end result won’t be a good one.

But, on the bright side, I guess there are a couple of things to like about Takers. As I said, the overall style of the film is at times pleasing just as at times it is completely off-putting, and there are one or two very good action sequences, not to mention that, at least, this is a film that moves pretty fast. Plus there are two quite alright performances by Chris Brown and Michael Ealy, who play brothers Jesse and Jake, and a very cool one from Matt Dillon as one of the cops trailing the takers. And, most importantly, Zoe Saldana also appears as Michael Ealy’s character’s love interest, and she’s as good a reason as any to watch this film.

I don’t really know if I would recommend Takers to anyone, I’m certainly not going to give it a failing grade here, but I don’t know how I could recommend it. As I said, Zoe Saldana is always gorgeous and she makes any film worth it, but the script is unbearable and, even though there’s action aplenty, the action really isn’t that neat, yes, there are those two cool action scenes, but, in a film that has loads of mediocre ones one has to cope with in between, they’re not really worth the admission price.

I feel like I’m going on and on here, not really making any sense, but I guess that’s just how this film left me feeling, senseless. Yes, the takers look suave and slick and whatnot, but that’s not enough to get you by nowadays, you need a solid emotional side to go hand-in-hand with all of that, and at that this one fails miserably. This emotional part of the heist films is a necessity because these are films that can’t just rely on the action, and because you need some sort of backstory to the characters for you to care at least a bit about them while they go on through the heist part of it all. And the fact that the emotional side of this one is so amazingly dull and all over the place means that we will be left relying solely on the heist part of it, and that part of it we’ve all seen one too many times for it to compensate.

Grade: C+


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