Takers Gives Back Mediocrity

As the trailer for Takers first rolled some months back, I cringed at the spectacle.  It appeared to be a movie of hipness and not functionality.  It contained a bunch of good-looking guys who aren’t necessarily known for their acting abilities, but more for their chiseled features.  The premise is nothing new.  A crew of seemingly capable guys plan the ultimate heist and hit a snag of potentially jail-stay proportions along the way.  What could this possibly offer that none of its bank-robbing predecessors have already delivered?  What can director John Luessenhop give us viewers that won’t be predictable or coma-inducing?

The good news is Takers is not the cure for insomnia.  Story aside for a moment, the film contains some big names, just not necessarily big in the land of Hollywood.  Starring recording artists Chris “I’ll smack you back Rihanna” Brown and Tip “T.I.” Harris, the music duo is teamed up with Michael Ealy (Barbershop), Hayden Christensen (Star Wars), Idris Elba (The Losers), Paul Walker (2 Fast 2 Furious), Matt Dillon (Crash), and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek).  Dillon plays an L.A. detective with hunger for tracking down the masked men behind a recent bank hold-up.  On the other side of the coin, Michael Ealy and Idris Elba serve as the ringleaders of the gang Dillon is after, which includes the likes of Brown, Christensen, and Walker.  If the situation wasn’t hot enough for the robbers, things get a little more tense when T.I. shows up fresh out of jail as an old face from their group.


So what can all these names create on screen?  Surprisingly, there is actually a bit of chemistry that develops among these guys.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t amount to a whole lot as far as character development goes.  Sadly, the story runs parallel with this flaw.  It was better than I expected and even contained an unexpected turn or two, though wasn’t enough to buckle me in and jettison me into the stratosphere.  The acting and dialogue are just plain rough at times.  The light at the end of the tunnel here is that they resemble wine and get better with age.  As the film progresses, so does the quality of interaction.  Don’t get giddy on me though.  When I say the quality goes up, I don’t mean with a vibrant spike like on stock chart.  Audiences are stuck listening to lines of this quality:

T.I.:  You get any new tatts?
Hayden:  A couple.

Well slap my aunt and call me Sally!  That is earth-shattering script work here, folks.  I know what you’re thinking.  “You took that out of context, Gregg.”  Did I?  The rest of the discussion was of the same eye-rolling quality.  The action early on was a bit of the same.  It just warranted an out-loud “yeah right.”  Events played out too conveniently and attention-attracting instances (like blowing up a helicopter in broad daylight) didn’t seem to attract much attention at all.  Hayden’s character must’ve shrouded the whole occasion in the dark si…wait…wrong movie.


Takers has entertainment value, but it’s a value more fitting of a rental than a trip to the cinema.  While watching it, I couldn’t help but think it was trying to be the new Heat.  None of these actors could hope to match the talent of what was in that film. T.I. needs to stick to music. I would have liked to have seen more Zoe Saldana, but her character was kept to a minimum.  Dillon does well enough in his role as does Elba in his, however, the others don’t quite bring home their performances which becomes a significant factor in the overall sense of emptiness in the film.  There is enough of a redeeming quality in Takers to keep it from harnessing a failing grade.  It’s worth a C- from some obvious improvement as the story plays out.  However, the aforementioned drawbacks are just too big of flaws to allow anything better.


6 Responses to “Takers Gives Back Mediocrity”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Your telling me that a movie with TI and Chris Brown, not to mention Anakin Skywalker and Paul Walker is not as good as it sounds? Blasphemy!

    I saw a TV spot that said, “this generations’ Heat.” I laughed for a good five minutes.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Matt Dillon is in this? He’s not even in the posters! Yet, he’s headlining it.

  3. Brian White

    I have managed to avoid this one like the plague. I cannot do this. I don’t even want to look at Chris Brown, whether alone sit through this flick that has been trapped in post production for over a year. Does Zoe play the same kind of role she did in THE LOSERS? Funny, that movie comes to mind whenever I think of THE TAKERS.

  4. Gerard Iribe

    Hey, I just watched The Losers last night and had a great time.

  5. Gregg

    No, Zoe is nothing like her ‘Losers’ character in this film. She’s very much in the background in this movie.

  6. Brian White

    @ Gerard… LOSERS Is a great popcorn flick, but it’s really nothing more than that. Although Jason Patric is hilarious in it! 🙂

    @ Gregg…that’s a shame 🙁