There are people who fail into a safe category. A way of life that takes almost no risks. Generally this way of life is called “predictable”. And that’s something I felt just watching the previews for this movie. So when I was wandering around my local video store, I seen this movie. Yea I reminded myself how the previews completely gave away the movie, but hey what the hell. Let’s step outside the sidewalk for a moment.
“Takers” is about a band of Bank Robbers consisting of Cozier (Idris Elba), Jake (Micheal Elay), A.J (Hayden Christensen), Jesse (Chris Brown), and John (Paul Walker). One of the crew, Ghost (T.I), is just released from prison who comes to the guys with a job offer. This puts the guys on edge since they had just completed a bank job and adhere to a strict rule of at least a year between jobs and the fact that the guys are nervous about a possible set up from Ghost. Hot on their trail is LAPD Detectives Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez).
As I said before, this movie is predictable. Right from the get go, you can read exactly what’s going to happen next. Now I know this isn’t “Takers” fault. We’ve just been so swamped with movies of every sorta category that it makes it kinda hard to bring something new to the same old system. And the attempts the movie makes to be fresh just fall flat on it’s face. See, whenever the major action starts, the camera going completely crazy and can’t seem to focus on anything. And what hurts the most is that the action is the saving grace of the movie. And by bringing in today’s Rap stars, well let’s just say that the stage is where they belong. I mean, Chris Brown had maybe 20 lines the whole movie, and he was involved in one of the best action chases in the movie. And don’t get me started on T.I. My god. But that’s for the casting section. This movie tries to cram every cliche from every Cop and Robber movie in the last 15 years. You have your cop who takes his job more serious than connecting with his daughter. You have a dirty cop. There’s the leader of the gang who has a drug addict sister, and one of the gang member who is now shacking up with the other’s ex. Then there is the complete rip off of the Italian Job Heist right down to blowing the armor truck through the street into a old subway tunnel. Now that is something I will blame on the writers. And even the attempt to make it there own isn’t enough to stop people of saying “hey, I seen this in a better movie”.
I understand that producers and directors want to stay fresh and connect with the younger crowd, but when you want to bring some Rap stars into your movie, make sure they can actually act. Chris Brown knows he can’t hold a candle to Paul Walker or Matt Dillon, so he tries to stay out of the center screen as much as possible. But the director (John Luessenhop) throws him kicking and screaming right into the middle of everything. And like I said before, T.I just over acts to a level I haven’t seen since Cary Elwes in Saw. I mean, once he comes on screen I was like just go away and forget your making this movie. And this movie is obviously geared to launch Brown’s and T.I’s movie career, so much so that Walker and Christensen (despite have a much more established career to date) both keep their screen time down to a minimum and just phone in their performances the little time they have. Dillon was actually refreshing in this. But again, the role he plays (made famous by Al Pacino in HEAT) was done better elsewhere. DISCLAIMER: That little sidenote I made there is NOT a actual fact, but a mere observation made on the fact that this movie is nothing but complete list of cliches and “Been there done that” moments as seen in other movies.
I can’t fully recommend this movie. The shaky camera does bring a real sense of realism and a inclusion into the action. But what makes it entertaining is when you can actually see what’s going on, not when the action is just a blur. Bringing in fresh hip-hop stars to connect to a younger crowd shows that hollywood does know how to evolve at times. But basing the entire movie around them, not a good idea especially when the rap stars really just can’t act. When you try to make a Cops and Robbers movie, next time bring at least 1 original idea to table. If your looking for a good……..nah Great heist movie, check out The Town. See this only if you really need to for bragging rights.