Movie Review: Takers

T.I. wants back in the gang.

GRADE: B+

I got a chance to to see Takers at its world premiere during the ABFF and it was easy to get caught up in the hype of the event. All the stars were there. Red carpet interviews. Fans were all over the place strategically placing themselves to possibly meet some of the cast and crew. The only thing that was missing were the fireworks and at times you couldn’t tell me that there weren’t any due to all of the flashing bulbs by the photographers and papparrazzi. I really didn’t know what to expect and was hoping that the pre-movie festivities weren’t just some gimmick to take our minds off the movie itself. But I must say that the movie lived up to the hype.

Takers adds a new twist to the heist genre where every movie pretty much sticks to the same formula with little variation in between. The movie is about a gang of five high flying bank robbers (Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, and Michael Ealy) that pull off several lucrative gigs by robbing banks through very careful and meticulous planning that even the Trojans of old could appreciate. The gang is bad! They treat their robberies like games of chess. For every move they make there’s a potential counter from their opposition and they have a counter already in place to offset that move.

And as with any good heist flick, the cops (Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez) get on their trail and make it tough on the “Takers”but that’s pretty much where the formula ends. From here on out, the twists are non-stop and at any given moment you don’t know which characters will make it through to the next scene. The movie keeps you guessing.

Things are going extremely well for the crew until an old colleague of theirs (T.I.) gets out of a jail and suggests that they take on one last gig together that could be their biggest heist yet. You can sense that things are about to get worse for the crew as they completely go against the grain and abandon their methodical ways of planning for the big score. This is one of the film’s main shortcomings. So much of the film is built up on the belief that this crew is prepared for any and everything and for good reason because they always thought everything through before they went on with their missions. So for T.I. to come into the picture and sway them to do otherwise wasn’t convincing enough for me even though T.I. was a very convincing bad guy. T.I.’s performance and the other cast’s performances were what made this movie truly work even through the plotholes and unbelievable moments.

Idris conveys the right persona to lead a crew of extravagant personalities. Matt Dillon captures the essence of being a battered and troubled cop. Jay Hernandez was likeable as his laid back partner with a dark secret. I wish that there was more Zoe Saldana in the film but that’s to be xpected with this testoterone driven adventure that actually caters to the women crowd.

There’s a foot chase scene involving Chris Brown that’s actually one of the better chase scenes that I’ve seen in recent years that’s almost worth the price of admission itself. Chris Brown performed all of his own stunts as he leapt over cars, through windows, and over gates as effortlessly as Super Mario would jump over mushrooms.

Overall the pacing of the stunt scenes and the visuals are what set this movie apart from other heist flicks. This film is definitely a must see.

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