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Takers (2010)

Rating: PG-13/10

US Certificate: PG-13

Once upon a time, a big gaggle of bank robbers, led by the ultra-suave Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba), made quite a nice living for themselves as “takers,” which is exactly what it sounds like—guys with lots of money and booze and gals who steal stuff as a vocation. This particular group is made up of John (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) Attica, and newly-out-of-prison Ghost (T.I). Ghost is back just in time to turn the guys on to a sweet armored car robbery, but his loyalties aren’t where they used to be, and with detectives Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez) on their trail, it seems as if the takers may be about to go down.

Nothing wrong with a good heist film—when done right, they’re fun, full of action, and they leave you thinking you might want to be a bank robber too. Think Ocean’s Eleven. When done like Takers, however, all the heisting and the shooting and the chasing grows monotonous and pointless, and all we’re left with is an ear-assaulting frenzy that leads to nothing of consequence—not even campy consequence.

So, for me, a good flick about robbin’ banks and shoot’em ups has to have a few key ingredients to make it stand out. Humor is a must—not slapstick-y, guffaw humor, but I like my heisters to be slick and witty. Also, along the same lines, I like to LIKE my heisters, so at least three or four of them should be memorable in a character sort of way. Then there’s the heisting itself—it’s gotta look good, and it’s gotta be clever. None of these things can be found in Takers, and it doesn’t take too long to figure that out. Sure, there’s a glut of good looking boys in fancy suits showing off the spoils of their thievery, but none of them make any impression, either as actors or characters (T.I. is especially bad as Ghost, and shouldn’t abandon that rapping career of his). Maybe, though, if the action had been decent, but instead of giving us intricate heist plots or well-shot heist execution, it all just screams around like a loud and boringly jumbled mess with a few clichés tossed in for good measure (feathers shot out of pillows during hotel gunfire? Check.). Really, this probably looked better on paper, and it had a cast with potential, but somewhere between the paper and the filming, a pointless and shallow product was created. It’s always nice to see Matt Dillon, but even he can’t save this waste of time.

It's Got: Matt Dillon, nothing to get attached to, the gall to make bank robbing seem boring

It Needs: Witty banter, clever plots, better acting


There’s really nothing here to like, and for all its stars and all its ambition, it’s pretty much just dull.