Several weeks ago, “Takers” was released in theaters and received mostly negative reviews. Despite that, it has done well even as it has faced some tough competition. The film features a hip young cast including Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen and musician Tip “T.I.” Harris. It also features an exciting plot about a heist planned by a team of charismatic criminals.
“Takers” begins with a well-coordinated bank heist as a group of thieves (played by Walker, Christensen, Idris Elba, Michael Ealy, and Chris Brown) hold a bank hostage and steal over two million dollars. The criminals escape by commandeering a news helicopter, which is one of the more unbelievable events in a movie full of them.
After a prison stint, a character named Ghost (Harris) returns wanting to rejoin the team for a major heist. However, much has changed since Ghost went away. Questions about his loyalty to the team and their loyalty to him arise as soon as the crew gets back together.
In the meantime, a cop named Jack (Matt Dillon) and his young partner Eddie (Jay Hernandez) investigate the bank robbery. As the story continues, both the thieves (who are called “takers” because they thrive on stealing) and the police officers will deal with questions of loyalty and brotherhood.
“Takers” features a strong cast playing interesting characters. Even with such a large group, each of the characters has a chance for some development. Before the end of the film, viewers will learn a lot about the members of the criminal team and about the police officers hunting them.
The minor story-lines stand out as extremely strong assets to the overall film. For instance, one of the “takers” (Elba) is often preoccupied, caring for his drug-addicted sister (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), who was recently released from rehab. Jean-Baptiste, well-known for her work on CBS’ “Without a Trace,” does a fine job in this minor role and adds an emotional dimension to the movie.
There are some major story flaws, including many disappointing sequences (like the helicopter escape at the beginning). Except for the actual heist near the end, many of the action sequences fall short. There is one completely unbelievable chase scene that features Jesse (Brown) being pursued by the police. Like so many clichéd action films from the past, Jesse is impossibly able to overcome everything. Several cars hit him, he jumps off a roof, crashes through a window… None of these events seem to phase him.
There is also a ridiculous fight scene. Christensen’s character gets into a violent struggle with several big guys who are ready to pummel him. Instead, Christensen’s character changes from being a quirky, likable kid to being an action hero on steroids. His fighting skills in this scene are truly unbelievable.
Overall, I liked this film despite its many flaws. It is a fun movie that showcases a hip young cast that seem to be enjoying themselves. Despite its obvious flaws, “Takers” is still worth taking a look at.