*1/2 (out of 5)
August 27, 2010
Idris Elba as GORDON JENNINGS
Matt Dillon as JACK WELLES
Tip “T.I.” Harris as GHOST
Michael Ealy as JAKE ATTICA
Chris Brown as JESSE ATTICA
Hayden Christensen as A.J.
Studio: Screen Gems
Directed by: John Luessenhop
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Let me set this up for you… You’re on an elite team of criminals who take aim at high-end targets for big heist scores. You make a point to not shoot anyone, and definitely to not kill anyone. You’re able to make a fine living for yourself by knocking over banks and other cash holdings, and you don this with meticulous planning, brilliant strategy and tons of cool gadgets.
Your most recent heist is a big bank in downtown Los Angeles. You manage to sneak your team onto an empty floor, bring in high powered weapons and SWAT gear and head to the bank a few floors down to knock it over. When the silent alarm is triggered, you are happy because that means your plan is going perfectly. You drag the teller who tripped the silent alarm into her office, where you make her call the police.
As the cops surround the bank, you make your escape by hijacking the first news helicopter that makes it on the scene once the word of the robbery hits the police scanner. Then you fly to a rendezvous point where you’ve all parked your cars, blow up the chopper and head off to freedom. Brilliant plan, right?
Not at all. It has a great set-up, but it’s the dumbest ending to an elaborate heist I’ve ever seen. What if the helicopter wasn’t close by and you were stuck on the roof? What if the news people fought back? What if they just flew away? Why would you hinge your entire plan of robbing a bank and escaping scot-free on a single news chopper arriving at just the right time?
It’s dumb. And that’s how “Takers” begins. Then it’s downhill from that point.
If you aren’t bothered by this simple Grand Canyon of logic, then go see the movie and enjoy the hell out of it. But otherwise, you’ll get more of this patchwork of a plot and character twists in this movie. It’s more of the same, and it doesn’t get better.
“Takers” appeals to the lowest common denominator of audiences. It’s got an overcrowded cast of only marginally decent actors like Idris Elba and Matt Dillon. The rest of the ridiculously large ensemble is rounded out by Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen of all people. This isn’t exactly your next Oscar slate, people.
Zoe Saldana is thrown in for about three minutes, yet her character turns out to be a key plot point. Then there’s Chris Brown, who only shows up when necessary, which leads me to believe he was edited out of the final cut to avoid criticism for his Rihanna-bashing incident.
“Takers” tries like crazy to be a hip, cool heist movie in the vein of an urban “Oceans Eleven,” but it spends too much time in ludicrous subplots, strange and out-of-place chase sequences and scenes that rip off everything from “Casino Royale” to “True Romance.”
It’s such a brainless movie that it makes Michael Bay look like the Coen Brothers.
“Takers” a fast food movie if I ever saw one, and not even good fast food. It’s not the Big Mac of cinema, but rather the cold slider that’s been sitting on a tray for three hours to the point its bottom bun has turned to jelly.