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A seasoned team of bank robbers, including Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba), John Rahway (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) Attica successfully complete their latest heist and lead a life of luxury while planning their next job. When Ghost (Tip T.I. Harris), a former member of their team, is released from prison he convinces the group to strike an armored car carrying $20 million. As the "takers" carefully plot their strategy and draw nearer to exacting the grand heist, a reckless police officer (Matt Dillon) inches closer to apprehending the criminals. Written by
The Massie Twins
The plot for this film does not need to be explained. It's basically a pastiche of The Italian Job, True Romance and melodramatic clichés.
The third element in the blender, mentioned above, along with a script short on genuine character development (You'll sometimes forget that Hayden Christensen and Zoe Saldana are in it) are distracting for a film which develops a serious tone, but there are positives, depending on your genre preferences.
The film moves along briskly, even as we deal with a cringe-worthy first half, and when the actual robbery gets going, the fun starts. Though the cinematography is modeled too much off of the Bourne-style shaky cam, the set pieces are still very well pulled off.
The extended car chases and shootouts contain a level of energy and suspense that really makes them standout, comparable to similar scenes in the above mentioned films, along with an on-foot chase clearly modeling itself off of the Madagascar chase in Casino Royale. Every car whizzing by, bone crunch or gunshot affects the audience due to mostly- proper use of slow motion, and great editing, both sound and film wise.
The melodrama may make some engaged viewers start laughing due to how it's put on screen, but as the stakes get higher, gels with the storyline.
The main cast, considering the material they are given, do the best they can, and their charisma is enough for us to care about them when the stakes get REALLY high, particularly in the case of Matt Dillon and Idris Elba.
It's highly unoriginal and contains several other elements worthy of nitpicking, but after evaluating how I had spent the past 107 minutes of my life, I think it got the job done.
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