Monday, August 30, 2010

Be A Giver, Not A Taker

Takers has a lot of lessons for the audience. For instance, I learned that, if you're a master criminal, you should listen to that gut instinct that tells you not to do a certain job. You also shouldn't change your master criminal rules like not doing a robbery just a few weeks after you did your last one. Another helpful hint is that, no matter how big the reward, you should really resist the urge that no one in a heist caper has ever been able to resist. You absolutely must NOT DO ONE LAST JOB AND THEN RETIRE.

Takers isn't great but it is watchable and that's pretty much all you can ask of a late August movie. It's about a gang of thieves led by Gordon Crosier (Idris Elba). Elba is a guy who has the acting skills to convince you that he's a strong, smart and competent leader of this highly successful group. His second in command is John Rahway (Paul Walker). The very handsome Walker is a guy who has the acting skills to convince you that he is a very handsome man. Walker should be playing lifeguards named Biff, not criminal masterminds. Seriously, movie, all the actors in the world and Paul Walker was who you settled on as the man to be the partner of the guy who played John Luther? Oh, never mind. He wasn't great but I suppose he did no harm. Rounding out the cast is Matt Dillon as Los Angeles Detective Jack Welles, Chris Brown, who kindly took time off from beating the hell out of whatever woman he's currently dating, as another member of the gang named Jesse and "T.I." Harris as Ghost, a former member who was recently released from prison. Rounding out the cast is Zoe Saldana who, literally, does pretty much nothing. I hoe she got paid a lot.

The movie opens with a flawlessly executed bank robbery while, across town, Detective Jack Welles and some sort of drug suspect mutually beat each other down at the same time Jack's partner loses his own suspect. I get grief from my office manager if I lose a pen so I can only imagine what it's like for a cop to lose a suspect but they won't have too much time to worry about it as they get called in to investigate the robbery. Being the ace detective that he is, Jack pretty much cracks the case wide open when he says, "These guys are good." Actually, when he's not abusing perps, Jack does some pretty solid police work and does start to connect the robbery to Gordon's team.

Speaking of them, they have their own problems when Ghost tracks them down. Ghost worked with them in 2004 and ended up being the only one who got arrested. He served his time without mentioning their names and now wants them to join him in some sort of reunion tour of crime. He has an idea to rob an armored car of $30,000,000 in 5 days but it turns out they have rules against associating with a known criminal, rushing the planning and not taking a year off between robberies. It will come as a shock to no one who's ever seen a heist movie that all these rules will be violated to the regret of everyone in the movie.

As I said, Takers is ok, all right, so so and mainly just made me shrug. Other than one really good chase scene involving Chris Brown, who shows us all that beating up women really keeps you in shape*, nothing really stands out. The reason for watching this movie is the same reason you climb a mountain, because it's there. It wasn't horrible and was often somewhat entertaining but, if you ask me about it a year from now, I doubt I'll remember it. With that ringing endorsement, run, don't walk, to see Takers.

* Yes, I'll mention that now and every time I talk about Chris Brown in the future. Deal with it.

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