Takers (2010) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
10Feb/110

Takers (2010)

I would say that 95% of the movies that anyone sees falls into the middle area of you either “kind of liked it” or “didn’t care for it much.”  It is very rare that films really give you an extreme reaction while watching it.  This type of reaction is a great thing when the movie is so well put together that you fall in love with it from the beginning and have a wonderful experience. It is not quite as great a feeling when you are watching something that rubs you the wrong way so bad that you are gritting your teeth, muttering under your breath and you associate viewing the whole thing without giving up as a task as giant as scaling Mt. Everest.  I had such a reaction with a movie recently released on DVD and unfortunately for Takers, it was not a good reaction. The movie is the newest in the long line of heist action films where a group of high class, intelligent and brash thieves is planning their big score.  This time the group consists of musicians (T.I., Chris Brown) stars of the Fast and Furious franchise (Paul Walker, Michael Ealy) Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) and Stringer Bell (Idris Elba).  The group are planning a heist worth $25 million while also deciding what to do with a recently released member of the gang.  This is all happening while a cop (Matt Dillon) is quickly putting the pieces together and is only one step behind them.

We are so cool, we can dress well and stand by flashy bikes!

I spent only a paragraph to describe the plot of the 1 hour 45 minute movie and it was hard for me to get those many words down on paper.  The story is so clichéd, generic, shallow, boring, stupid and unbalanced that trying to write a synopsis without getting angry all over again is very hard.  There is nothing fresh or unique about this film whatsoever and you can see the exact same story in countless other action films made in the last 10 years, most of them with better acting.

The acting in this, oh where to start.  When I wasn’t bored to tears watching what was happening on screen, I pitied most of the people in the film and their “acting” choices.  The only star of this train wreck that gets out unscathed is Idris Elba, and that is only because the dude has so much charisma, he doesn’t have to act at all and he is still interesting to watch.  It is good that he has all the extra charm to burn because the movie fails him at every turn and all he can do is stand on his markers and read his lines in his actual English accent (which I did dig quite a bit). The rest of the cast didn’t make it out of the movie so unharmed.  Although he has been appointed the “new Keanu,” Paul Walker has impressed me in some of the movies he has done lately.  I thought he was great in the underappreciated Running Scared and outshined Vin Diesel in the newest Fast and the Furious movie, but he takes a step back here.  Walker fades into the background so bad in this film that I cannot remember anything that he does or one good moment that he has in the film.  He is there mostly to look hot and act tough and I can’t answer if he pulled off the former, I know he didn’t accomplish the latter. Chris Brown didn’t seem to have a clue what he was supposed to do in the movie and looks confused through most of the film about what kind of reaction he is supposed to have with what is going on in the story.  Unlike Walker, he does get a moment to shine when he is the star of one of the only decent action scenes in the movie.  He comes alive when he is running from the cops and jumping all around the downtown area like a demented version of Frogger.  This was Brown’s best part of the film and I believe it is because it is the only time where he doesn’t have to speak, act or do anything but run and jump in the correct direction.

I am so cool, I can wear a hat and suspenders ironically!

Saving the best for last, we have the poor, unexplainable acting of rapper T.I.  Words cannot begin to express what might go down in film history as one of the worst “tough guy” portrayals to ever grace the screen.  Here is a guy who has been ok in other roles but is so bad it this film it is almost too hard to comprehend.  T.I., in real life, has had run ins with the law and has even served jail time, one would think this would give him some help seeing where his character is coming from but it does nothing of that sort.  T.I. does not make the character of Ghost threatening or scary at all and only comes off as a creepy guy that you would not rely on for a minute.   I would not trust this man to open a door for me with how shady he acts, so the fact that he gets five criminals who always are looking over their back to follow him into a huge, dangerous score is preposterous.  T.I. is so bad in this film it should be a warning for any musician trying the “acting thing” to make sure they know what they are doing first.

If the horrible wooden acting wasn’t bad enough, the movies tone swings widely form scene to scene that it bordered on ridiculous.   How would one characterize the gang of thieves?  Are they bad guys with a heart of gold who give some of their take to charity? Hardened criminals who would put a bullet in a friend to stay out of jail?  Sentimental guys who put friends and family above all else?  Are they smart, cautious criminals or dangerous, reckless ones?  In the movie, they are all these things and more.  Takers never knows whether the main characters are going to be heroes, anti-heroes or villains so they have them be all of them at once. Matt Dillion as the cop really fares no better in the film as he is saddled with bad subplots one right after another.  Dillon is the typical caricature of a cop that these movies usually afflict upon the viewer.  He is good at his job but doesn’t know how to be a father or anything but a cop.  When his daughter showed up for a ride along, I rolled my eyes at that tired plot and rolled it even more when we are supposed to care what happens to the daughter who could have been named “plot device to stretch out the running time.”  The story with his partner is even more shameful and is so overdone that I could almost predict the outcome from the first second he was introduced.

We are so cool, we can walk from an explosion unfazed!

By the end of the film, Takers had somehow spiraled into a morality play where all the charters are being littered with bullets to pay for their sins.  I assume you were supposed to care for their fates, but since I couldn’t name a single character if my life depended on it, I was numb to the whole bloody ending.  I didn’t care who lived, who died, who ended up with the money or who went to jail.  There was not a character in the film that left a lasting impression that if every single character would have died in a blaze of glory, the only thing I would have felt was relief that the movie was wrapping up. Calling Takers a bad movie doesn’t cut it.  Calling Takers a lazy, dull, stupid, poor excuse for an action film comes close.  Aside from a few interesting action moments, there was nothing close to good about the film.  The story was paper thin, the acting was awful, the characters were blank and a consistent tone was not even tried.  Takers would go great on a double feature in hell with Brooklyn’s Finest for crime films that make me seethe with range.

Posted by Ryan

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