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Takers – movie review
Charitable villains who donate a portion of their heists to charities. Cops who mean well but are known for doing the wrong thing. A fresh out of jail criminal who’s feeling a little betrayed and wants his old crew to make it up to him. Explosions. All of these can be found in Takers, but only one of them is a truly good thing.
In trying to keep the action and excitement constantly at a high, Takers may have taken it too far. Shaky camera angles made me dizzy, and also made it hard to see the really cool action sequences that were happening. Jesse, one of the Takers, jumped over car after car at one point, and it was impossible to see what he was doing. Fight sequences also suffered because of this. In the beginning of the movie, they did lots of quick takes and varying angles when all that was being done was talking and drinking a bottle of water. It was also really obvious when they switched to hand-held cameras because suddenly everything in the movie would have really flat sitcom lighting, even at night. The bad camera shots were so bad that at times I couldn’t tell Hayden Christensen and Paul Walker apart, or Chris Brown and Michael Ealy.
There was only one character that I knew how to feel about in the entire movie, and that was Ghost. The movie made it hard to root for anyone. There were the cops who may or may not have been crooked, but their hearts were in the right place and they had messed up situations at home. Then there were the high-scale robbers who donate part of their money to charity and also have emotional problems of their own. On that note, the emotional dialogue always seemed forced, and the whole thing was unnatural. The movie would have been just fine if it was a straight action movie. The emotional angle just weighed the movie down. I didn’t know if I wanted the cops or the Takers to win, but I knew I didn’t like Ghost. Something was off about him from the beginning, and it was easy to tell that he was up to something. However, not knowing how to feel about the characters made it very difficult to stay into the movie. The set-up of the movie took forever. I understand in hindsight what was supposed to be taken out of it, but at the time it was really disjointed and made no sense. It made it really hard to get into the movie.
Matt Dillon played Jack Welles, who’s a pretty stupid character. He’s a cop who doesn’t play by the rules and is rough and all that. He also is separated from his wife, and at one point has his daughter with him. Even though he “doesn’t work weekends,” he still manages to find himself in pursuit of people he suspects to be bank robbers with his daughter in the car. Who does that? Dillon’s performance wasn’t bad, but even bad acting can’t save a bad character.
Idiris Elba was Gordon, who after awhile became the only character I cared about. His performance was very good, and except for the sister in rehab, he’s one of the only characters we actually get to learn about throughout the movie. Gordon cares for his sister, and he knows to not mix business and pleasure. The only thing I never knew was exactly why he got into that certain line of work, but it doesn’t really matter. He was the mastermind, and he knew what he was doing.
T.I. was pretty good as Ghost. Ghost felt betrayed, and you knew from the beginning he was a wild card. There are times he makes it very obvious that he’s only in it for him, and that he just wants what he thinks he’s owed, which is more than he actually is owed. Yet, there were still some surprises left in him, showing that even if you know you can’t trust him, you still don’t know what he’s capable of.
I did like the straight action sequences of Takers. I am a sucker for explosions, and I was not disappointed. The actual heists in the movie were lots of fun. Besides the requisite exchange of gun fire and things blowing up, the tension during these scenes was high and made you wonder what was going to happen next.
Overall, Takers is kind of bland. It would have been much better to rent it. Even the good parts of the movie don’t really make up for the bad.