The cast…well, the cast features people you may have heard of before, but no real hard hitters. Young generic leading men like Paul Walker, Hayden Christiansen and Jay Hernandez join forces with more experienced, yet woefully misguided actors like Matt Dillon and Idris Elba. Everybody pretty much sleepwalks on screen, but Elba at least brings a little bit of class (in his native British accent, no less). His scenes dealing with his drug addict sister, while random and ill-fitting to the overall story, are at least well-acted. (AVATAR star Zoe Saldana is also credited as being in the movie, but I don’t think her two quick cameos really count.) And then there’s hip hop stars Chris Brown and T.I., who are about as good as you expect. Brown is functional in his action scenes, but T.I. is just a horrible actor in every regard. He literally narrates the climactic heist scene. It’s like having an annoying audience member talking at the screen, already built in to the movie.
TAKERS is as clichéd and tired as a slow motion shot of the whole cast walking away from an explosion, which it actually has. The story and execution are what I’d call “gangster lite.” The characters are cool, dress in snazzy suits, live large and talk a good game—but they’re so incredibly boring. Everyone feels like carbon copies of the typical criminal archetype, as if each character watched a bunch of movies and tried to act like their favorite gangster. The plot is completely by the numbers as well (one final heist with the veteran cops hot on their tail!) and the story on both sides of the law is equally blah, especially Matt Dillon’s unlikable cop character.
Even when the film isn’t doing anything wrong, it still isn’t doing anything right. I don’t think there’s an original frame in this movie. There’s a parkour-style chase that would’ve been cool 5 years ago. And even the final shootout attempts to be operatic and moving, but just pales in comparison to SCARFACE, HEAT or whatever John Woo movie it’s trying to rip off.
“Takers” by T.I. Music Video Promo (4:32): A lazy music video made up of clips from the movie.
Extra Tidbit: Johnathon Schaech, lead singer of the Oneders, is also in this movie.