Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reel To Reel: Takers

Yo! Go get yourself some.

Going Rate: Worth matinee price.
Starring: Matt Dillon, Idris Elba, Tip "T.I." Harris, Chris Brown, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen
Rated: PG-13
Red Flags: Heavy gunfire, language, brief partial nudity, one scene of brief sexuality in a pool

Takers is a hip-hop twist on the formula bank-heist caper film. More specifically, it's a twist on The Italian Job, minus the Mini Coopers. All through this film, I had the sense that I really wasn't seeing anything new. Only a scant bit of research and review of other critical opinion confirms my suspicions. Perhaps it's best described by another Francis Movie Equation: Takers = Ocean's Eleven X Heat + The Italian Job / Four Brothers.

Over nearly two hours we see elements re-mixed from other pictures into an entertaining if largely unoriginal blend. You have the ace gang of criminals, the relentless detective more focused on catching crooks than being a family man, the spurned crew member looking for payback, the last "big job," and all the planning and setup going into it. The big job in this instance is an armored car heist on the streets of Los Angeles, in broad daylight, using an inventive method to trap the vehicle so it can be robbed in a controlled yet chaotic fashion.

I won't delve into a plot synopsis because you've likely constructed it already. Not to say you won't be surprised along the way by a few random outbursts of violence, including a gunfight towards the end which will have you counting both bullets and pillow feathers. It's there, slowed down and set to contrasting music, because someone thought it needed to be.

Takers isn't a bad movie, even if you've seen all the better films that inspired it. But beyond that, I gather it will be one of those movies that, in five years, I will have forgotten completely save for this review, which I admit hasn't told you very much except to endorse film escapism, if you're into that sort of thing.

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