Starring: Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen. Michael Ealy, Jay Hernandez, Matt Dillon, Zoe Saldana
Director: John Luessenhop
Writer(s): Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop
Cinematography: Michael Barrett
Original Score: Paul Haslinger
Running Time: 107 Mins.
The best crime drama since The Departed and the best heist movie since Heat, that is what I have witnessed this Autumn, suffice to say that Takers is not that film…with Ben Affleck’s terrific The Town receiving those plaudits from me and a great many others, something which leaves Takers up the creek without a paddle as its credentials are hardly rock solid to begin with. Case in point, it stars Paul Walker, Hayden Christenten and a couple of rappers/wannabe actors (Chris Brown and T.I.) as well as Matt DIllon who’s descent into mediocre fare better suited to DTV (Armoured, Old Dogs and You Me and Dupree) is only solidified here, add to that a fledgling director and one of the most hackneyed premises ever and the signs are hardly encouraging.
Alas this signs are largely correct, forgettable but passable, Takers is everything you would expect, which is pretty much all of the above…in spades! In all fairness though it has no aspirations besides a short sharp burst on entertainment, there is little attempt at depth beyond a sub-plot involving Idris Elba’s character’s sister and even that hasn’t enough time spent on it to become offensive. So what of plot, well there’s this one big heist a gang of bank robbers want to pull off that has been set up by someone who previously took the fall for them, should they trust him or not? Take a guess…I bet you will be right! And hot on their tale is Matt Dillon’s detective and his partner (Hernandez), so into the mix is an attempt at a corruption plot and the weakest attempt at a love story you will likely see all year which displays the biggest waste of the film’s talent in Zoe Saldana!
But a lack of aspiration can sometimes be a saving grace for the film is pacey enough to grip with spontaneity and shockingly Hayden Christenten turns in an enjoyable performance, something complimented by some nice visual flourishes, Luessenhop clearly knows how to shoot an action scene with some flair even if it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Sadly the positives all too easily get bogged down by the hackneyed scripting and a predictable finale that tries to pack some punch but fails to the point where I am struggling to recall what happened, never a good sign!
The saddest thing to come from the film is the waste of talent that is Idris Elba, while The Losers was enjoyable he really isn’t stretching the acting chops he so clearly has on the basis of TV series such as Luther, someone please give the guy a part he is worthy of and not the fourth leg in a team based film! Which leads me to the final point, structure, the story was evidently written with the idea that each of the cast would get their moment to shine amongst the team based aesthetic. Neither of these are pulled of successfully, with only Christenten making an impact and next to no chemistry between anyone else, something that is crucial in a film of this nature, even the weakest examples of the genre usually manage a little of that important ingredient.
Takers is the film you would expect, entirely forgettable and with very few redeeming features, so n0t awful then but a bit of a waste of time.