23 may. 2011

My Review: Takers (4/10)

¨We`re takers, gents. That’s what we do for a living. We take.¨

There is a scene in Takers where a group of sophisticated criminals have just successfully finished robbing a bank and are walking away in style from an exploding helicopter. This scene can summarize what I thought about the movie: Very stylish and cool looking, but very poor in content, story, and acting. The cast seems entirely focused on trying to look cool and outshine one another, but none of them are actually worried about giving a decent and realistic portrayal of their characters. They may act tough and cool, but they’re all two dimensional. The script is bad, but I wouldn’t blame the acting entirely on that because the truth of the matter is that most these actors can´t act even if they were given an Oscar winning screenplay. Director John Lussenhop also collaborated with the screenplay along with Peter Allen and Gabriel Casseus, and the truth of the matter is that there are several plot holes. There was however some interesting action sequences, like a foot chase around New York City involving Chris Brown and Matt Dillon which had some really cool stunt work. Some viewers might be hypnotized by the look and style of the film because the visuals are actually pretty decent, but I really couldn’t get around the poor plot and acting. Zoe Saldana is probably one of the best actresses in the film and she doesn´t even get hardly any screen time. Some of the other characters in the film seem to have served no purpose at all (Naomi for example).

John Rahway (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), brothers Jesse (Michael Ealy) and Jack Attica (Chris Brown), and Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba) are part of a five man team of bank robbers who successfully completed their latest heist after a spectacular and calculated escape involving a News Station helicopter. They are sophisticated criminals who enjoy a life of luxury; they have big houses, drive Range Rovers, and wear stylish clothes. Their comfortable lives come to an end when a former member of the team, known as Ghost (Tip T.I. Harris) is released from jail that very day and shows up with a new plan for a heist involving two armored trucks and twenty million dollars. The problem is that they don’t have much time to plan for the job and they don’t know if they can really trust Ghost. Jack´s girlfriend, Lilly (Zoe Saldana), used to be Ghost`s former love interest so Jack really doesn’t want to accept the job, but there is a lot of money involved so they accept. The other problem the team has to deal with is that police officer Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and his partner Eddie (Jay Hernandez) are closely behind their backs linking several pieces of evidence against them. Jack has to deal with some trouble of his own due to the fact that his obsession with his job has pushed him away from his daughter, and Eddie has been accused of stealing some evidence money. Sooner or later the paths of these criminals will cross with those of Officer Welles.

My main issue with this film was the acting. T.I. is a terrible actor. His performance as Ghost is just nauseating. Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen aren’t really known for their acting skills although they do have some charisma. In this film with everything that is going on they don’t have much screen time for us to sympathize with their characters. Idris Elba gives a decent performance, but his whole relationship with his drug addict sister is pointless if you ask me. I know that she is the reason why Welles becomes suspicious of Gordon, but they could have done without that entire story. Zoe Saldana`s character is also misused and actually pointless in this film. The one memorable moment for me was the scene where we get to see Chris Brown in action trying to escape from the police. The stunt work was great. The rest of the film is pretty much forgettable although I can’t deny being seduced by some of the camera work. The look of the film was great, but the content was just not there at all. I was actually disappointed with Takers, it could have been so much better because it did have some interesting moments, but the pieces just didn’t seem to fit together. I wouldn’t recommend this movie, there are other more interesting and smart heist thrillers out there.

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