TAKERS Review


"Takers" is slick and precise. Cliched and calculated. That isn't to say it doesn't have entertainment value though. Despite being overstuffed with B-list celebrities and some A-list music stars, the acting isn't nearly as awful as it good have been, but it does take away from what is otherwise a fun bank-robbin, adventure film, here's lookin at you T.I. It is nice though, because no one in this film is really at the center, no one lingers on screen for more than a few moments at a time the cast is so massive and when it does tend to linger it is luckily on the most capable of the names here, either Mr. Idris Elba or Mr. Matt Dillon. The two anchor either side of this battle between the good and the bad guys and do so with a flair that hints they know exactly what kind of film they are in, with the same attitude the viewer should have as they watch the film: who cares? We're having a good time right?

So, let's talk about what exactly this film has going for it besides being completely predictable. The strongest factor here is that we truly are rooting for the bad guys the entire film. We get to know them well and even if we don't warm up to them all that much we see their connections and why they are a part of such a team and we do root for them. They live a lifestyle that is all black and shiny silvers and they do so from taking other peoples things, it is something to be applauded when you can make someone like that appealing much less an entire gang of them so lets give director John Luessenhop some props and lets move on to why "Takers" could have been so much better.

There are linings of a story trying to break free of the mold here. As head of this gang of criminals Idris Elba has a drug addicted sister. This does well in leading to one of the main reasons such a well organized team faces a demise in the end (Oh come on, you knew at least some of them were gonna have to face the music) as well as pulling on some heart strings and bringing more humanity to the otherwise cold world these guys live in. We also have a sub-plot concerning the criminally under-used Zoe Saldana and a love triangle between her, Michael Ealy and the newly released from prison T.I. (In the movie, at least). I think it would have been nice to have seen these avenues explored more, bringing more of a backstory as to why these guys do what they do. What brought them to this point. And they might have had them, after a few delays I feel alot was left on the cutting room floor seeing as we have a slim hour and a half film here. And in those edits this film became a movie not about depth, but about cops and robbers and cool fight scenes with nothing more to it. Though I must say the chase scene featuring Chris Brown seemed well-staged and nicely executed, it was easily the most thrilling moment of the film. And that's what "Takers" was all about, having a good time, right?