An undercover Detroit cop navigates a dangerous neighborhood that's surrounded by a containment wall with the help of an ex-con in order to bring down a crime lord and his plot to devastate the entire city.
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
In Takers, Gordon (Idris Elba) leads a crew of armed robbers consisting of John (Paul Walker), Jake (Michael Ealy), Jesse (Chris Brown), and A.J (Hayden Christensen). Apparently their routine is holdup a bank once a year and split the $2 million between the five of them. But you can't live the high life for long on that take, so when recently paroled ex-teammate Ghost (played by rapper T.I.) makes an appearance with a job to knock off an armored car, you can bet the team is willing. But with rule bending cop Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) in pursuit, will they be able to get away with it?
I'm seeing a pattern that I hope finds an end. As with The Expendables, Takers has a gang of men who are too similar. Whereas the former had a bunch of instruments of death, the latter's team isn't as easy to categorize. I can't begin to describe their personas. It appears they can each fight and handle a gun. At one point it looked like A.J. was the wheelman, but that didn't last long as he's next used as the demolitions expert. Until recently it was always possible to label one as the prankster, but there has been such a blogosphere backlash against comic relief that Hollywood seems afraid to provide personality. Sure would have been nice to see their interaction with each other extend beyond posing outside a nightclub and explaining the situation.
Takers is so overridden by a nonabrasive lack of imaginationa mentality to not screw up the film which backfires by failing to provide anything newthat I'm forced to give attention to the only creative outlet I could find, and that's cinematography. Many scenes feature monochromatic lighting, sometimes with a complimentary color in the background. It's pretty much the only thing saving Takers from a straight-to-video release, as even the star power is suspect. As far as serious movie fans are concerned, the exclusion of Matt Dillon from the poster art is a red flag. We are left to ponder at a bunch of guys who are mostly infamous for their performances. To their credit, Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen didn't overpower me with a full throttle force of awkward pauses and tone deafness. Chris Brown on the other hand, you should stick to crying over Michael Jackson.
Now that we are coming to the end of the summer movie season, I'm starting to gain appreciation for The Losers. In that movie Idris and Zoe had better written characters. In that movie the core team members had distinct roles within the group. In that movie an explosive climax ensued. I gave The Losers what I still feel is a justifiable two star rating, but compared to the lack of surprise, humor, or drama found in Takers I do feel tempted to retroactively adjust. Getting back to the task at hand I can't fault the blandness of Takers as total failure, but I think we all know that two stars isn't an endorsement.
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