With its finely-tuned cast and an intricate plot about committing the perfect crime, “Takers” should have been the perfect movie. Unfortunately, director John Luessenhop (“Lockdown”) doesn’t seem to know exactly what to do with his actors or the story. As a result, “Takers” takes more than it gives to the audience.
Perfect crimes confound the police in “The Takers”
Paul Walker plays John Rahway, one member of a very precise group of thieves. Each heist is carefully planned and executed, which confuses and confounds police detectives. For thieves, the group, led by Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba), has an excellent track record, leaving only one injured man behind in a past heist.
That unfortunate thief, a man known as Ghost (Tip “T.I.” Harris), finally is released from prison, showing up unexpectedly in Rahway’s classy apartment. Although Ghost’s proceeds from his last robbery have carefully been deposited in secret bank accounts for him, he still wants to get back into the game. Jennings and the rest of the team are skeptical about his true motives, though.
No police detective has been able to catch Jennings and his crew, but Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) is getting dangerously close. Welles is a hard-boiled detective who starts to obsess over these perfectly executed robberies. He even puts his relationship with his daughter at risk to chase down leads about these perfect crimes.
“Takers” runs out of gas early on
“Takers” is heavy on explosions and gunfire, but mysteriously light on plot. A film like “The Italian Job” takes the concept of a tightly-knit group of thieves and runs with it, but “The Takers” quickly runs out of gas early on.
Rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris deserves high praise, though, for his portrayal of Ghost, the one who had been left behind so many years ago. When Ghost reappears on the scene after serving his time behind bars, Harris makes it obvious that the character wants some payback, especially after he learns that his lady love (Zoe Saldana) has become cozy with someone else in the group.
Matt Dillon turns in another solid performance in “Takers.” As Jack Welles, Dillon does it the old school way, obsessing over hours of surveillance footage and virtually ignoring some important father/daughter time with his little girl.
Despite top-notch performances from Harris and Dillon, “Takers” is still a disappointing film from start to finish. It’s almost a crime that a cast this good is willing to take money for a movie like this.
“Takers,” rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language, currently is playing in local theaters.