Jen Yamato
Takers Review

Jen's Rating:


The Italian Heat Job for Dummies

Who's In It: Idris Elba, Tip "T.I." Harris, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez, Zoe Saldana

The Basics: A gang of handsome penthouse-dwelling bank robbers (Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy, and Chris Brown) reluctantly take on one last big job when an old buddy (rapper-turned-actor and Takers producer Tip "T.I." Harris) gets out of jail and comes back into the fold. But can they trust their newly paroled former friend not to screw them over? And will the troubled-but-dedicated detective on their trail (Matt Dillon) figure out their latest heist in time to bring down the entire operation? More importantly, will Hayden Christensen be wearing that porkpie hat for the whole movie?

What's The Deal: This heist pic from writer-director John Luessenhop is pretty much what you expect, a slick thriller comprised of equal parts pretty actors, urban crime drama clichés, and cheesy lines like "We're takers, that's what we do; we take." Kinetic editing, sweeping aerial pans, barely discernable action, gratuitous slo-mo -- you name it, Luessenhop employs every trick he learned from watching Tony Scott and Michael Mann flicks, which only adds to the overwhelmingly generic feeling of Takers. Thankfully, there are a few unexpected joys that break through the numbing mediocrity -- Hayden Christensen as a tattooed, jazz piano-playing hipster-slash-physics expert (who does indeed wear that porkpie hat the whole time), R&B singer Chris Brown doing parkour through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, and Matt Dillon's desperate-to-be-noticed performance, to name a few. As long as you know that those are the real reasons to see Takers, you can sit back and enjoy it as the last popcorn flick of the summer season.

The Amazing Force Of Nature That Is T.I., Thespian: Takers is chock full of cheesy lines delivered with various levels of nuance by its ensemble cast, but the best lines by far come courtesy of the rapper-actor-recent parolee-film producer Tip "T.I." Harris, who struts his way through the film with his usual confidence and heavy Southern drawl. For example, there's "Let's say we go Italian Job on that ass." Or: "Bidness is bidness. Money is money." Also: "Move and I'll put three holes in ya head like a bowling ball." And later: "Oh s**t! Daaaaamn! Yeeeeeah!" Contrary to what you may believe, not just anyone can pull off dialogue like this.

Skills That The Characters Of Takers Must Possess In Order To Pull Off Their Elaborate Heists: Handling explosives, electrical wiring, hand-to-hand combat, looking good in expensive suits, doing parkour, piloting helicopters, shooting lots and lots of guns, leaping through the air in slo-mo while shooting lots of guns, walking away from explosions in slo-mo AND in unison, directing traffic, running across town carrying bags full of cash on their backs, drinking 30-year Macallan scotch.

Approximate Number Of Minutes Of Screen Time That Zoe Saldana Gets: Five, give or take. It's a strictly all-dude affair that gives Saldana about as much attention as Matt Dillon's irresponsible deadbeat dad gives his neglected little girl during their weekend play date.


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