Giving a fair review of the film Takers means having seen all the films it attempts to capitalize upon. While many Takers reviews might have the common theme of the film encompassing an exciting presentation of ideas, we would be remiss not to mention that there was a certain lack of emotion within the story that didn’t let the film evolve as much as it could have. When the end credits are finally rolling, the film doesn’t give a feeling of fulfillment, but rather a longing for there to have been more characters that we cared about during the ride. We are getting ahead of ourselves at this point though.
In the previews for Takers, a critic was quoted as calling this the best heist movie since Heat, but it would be unfair to even include this film in the same category as Heat. Quite a recognizable cast was brought together for Takers, including Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, and Paul Walker. Michael Ealy, Idris Elba, T.I., Jay Hernandez, and Chris Brown also have recognizable roles, with a quick cameo also given to Zoe Saldana. With such a large cast, it isn’t always easy to give every character enough back-story for the audience to care about them, and that is a major fault with this movie.
At the beginning of the film, a group of bank robbers are pulling off a heist that comes off without a hitch, and which shows off how good they are at what they do. It is an interesting progression of the early plot lines, and it works very well to not only show the skills they possess, but the lives that they go back to after each job. Flash ahead to one of their former crew members now getting out of prison, and his encouragement that they take on a new job that he has inside information about. The rest of the film is dedicated to that heist, the aftermath, and the detectives that are trying to track them down all the way through.
There is a certain cops-and-robbers aspect to Takers, where on one side we have the heist crew, and on the other side we have characters played by Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez doing what they can to try and catch up with this crew. It isn’t easy, but Dillon’s character becomes obsessed with the cast, almost taking it personally that they pulled off a job in his city. The question of whether he can catch up with them before they pull off another job, and if there are any clues to their identities become the sub-plots for the audience to hook on to. Those sub-plots weren’t enough to keep the film in its elite status that it could have had.
There are quite a few moments during this film where things seem pretty implausible, and then there are failed attempts for the writers to make us care about the criminals. This film is split in perspective, to the point where we are expected to root for the good guys and the bad guys at the same time, but there are just too many members of the crew to get enough screen time in a movie that comes in at less than two hours. The premise was great, the characters (on the surface) were good enough to carry the story, but in the end, it was the writing that keeps this from being a great heist movie. Worth seeing at a matinee or on DVD later, this one gets a grade of C+