With all of the films chronicling the schemes and usually well thought out plans of bank robbers and thieves, the introduction of Takers didn’t really have me too excited. The only difference that I could really see judging from all of the trailers and sneak peeks were that these particular robbers were very well dressed. The John Luessenhop directed project takes us into the lives of a pretty close knit bunch living the high life and reaping the benefits of their chosen illegal career field.
The team of takers consist of a rather ensemble cast headed up by Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba). His second in command and best friend, John (Paul Walker), helps to run their crew of determined heister's. The film begins with the group about to pull off another job on an unsuspecting banking establishment. They are crisp, fast, strategic and downright perfect in their execution of obtaining their goal without managing to hurt any innocent patrons or employees. Detectives Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) & Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez) are the police officials assigned to the case. Both cop with their own personal story among the many sub-plots included in this film.
After their successful completion of relieving so many people of their money, the crew which includes AJ (Hayden Christensen) is enjoying the fruits of their labor. This relaxed moment of peace is interrupted by the arrival of a familiar face from their past. An ex-partner named Ghost (T.I.) who has just been released from prison. It is quite obvious that bad blood exists between himself and the group insinuating that nothing good could have taken place among them in the past. Jake (Michael Ealy), another member of the team, is also currently dating Ghost’s ex-girlfriend, Lily (Zoe Saldana). That can’t be a good feeling. Ghost offers the team a shot at another job to help ease the tension between the long-time acquaintances. Hesitant to take it at first, the conglomerate eventually decide to go with Ghost’s plan and attempt to haul in another pay day. With uneasiness in the air, the group begins to plan and decide on their moves to make this a reality.
Produced by T.I. & Michael Ealy themselves, Takers is definitely good for some scenes of decent action. Although I wouldn’t quite classify it as a “non-stop thrill ride”, it puts in with gunplay and stunt work that might satisfy some action junkies. My favorite action sequence and I’m sure everyone else’s as well was the almost never ending chase by foot in which Jesse, Jakes’ brother & final member of the squad (Chris Brown), is being run down by the two detectives. Apparently doing a lot of his own stunts, Brown contributes to his character by adding parkour to his skill set. Running and leaping over cars and traffic as well as scaling buildings with death defying maneuvers was rather entertaining.
To me it felt that this story focused mainly on the going on’s of the characters personal lives and drama but this turned out to work to its advantage as the film goes on. You can’t help but choose a side to root for; either the cops or the robbers. Matt Dillon’s performance was very believable as a detective whom the audience can tell gets a lot of gripe from higher-ups within the department due to his rough approach of collaring felons but is still very much down to do his job. His passion and commitment to catch these bank robbers are unmatched by anyone else in the film including his partner. Although, this type of police character has been used many times before, it’s always good to see for me. It shows that not all cops are bad.
Tentatively titled Bone Deep, Takers could also have been called the “GQ Bank robbers”. With the way that every member of the “bad guy” crew’s suit is tailored and custom made to precision, it is quite obvious this aspect was put in place to attract the female demographic to go see an action thriller. Hard to miss this move but I must admit it was a rather good marketing ploy. I don’t think it would be able to stand beside the much more hard hitting and gritty bank robbing drama put out last year, The Town, but it holds its own in another light. I give Takers “3.5 reasons why I need to go get a custom three piece of my own out of 5”.
“Aye, business is business and money is money, I never said we were friends”