Takers (2010)

Director: John Luessenhop
Writer: Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop, Avery Duff
Cast: Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, Matt Dillon, Michael Ealy, Idris Elba, Steve Harris, T.I., Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech, Paul Walker, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Gaius Charles, Gideon Emery, Zoe Saldana
Seen on: 15.1.2023

Gordon (Idris Elba), John (Paul Walker), Jesse (Chris Brown), Jake (Michael Ealy) and A.J. (Hayden Christensen) are an experienced and professional group of bank robbers who have successfully evaded detection by playing it cool and knowing when to walk away. When former member of their group, Ghost (T.I.), the only one to ever get caught, is released from prison, he comes to them for his cut of their old robbery – and with a risky new job that would make all further jobs unnecessary. The group is unsure whether to trust him, and whether it’s a good time for them to take on another job as police officer Jack (Matt Dillon) has gotten rather close. But the job proves too much of a temptation, and Ghost too much of a risk to offend.

“Oooh,” I thought when this film popped up under my suggested watches, “a heist movie with Idris Elba?” And, naively, I continued this thought with “how bad could it be?” The answer is: this bad. So very bad. Oh my goodness, it’s bad.

the film poster showing the white guys of the cast front and center. The robbers (T.I., Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba) are arranged as close-ups over police men (Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez) aiming their guns.

Takers has a big problem: it wants to be a serious movies about issues, but it fails to give any of its characters any substance. Without the characters bringing life to the issues, it just feels like work, and not very insightful work at that. The robbers get more attention than anybody else, but even with them, I’d struggle to describe them. A.J. wears a hat and plays the piano. Jesse and Jake are brothers. Gordon has an addicted sister that he tries to take care of. John… exists and looks a lot like A.J., minus the hat. They like money and living well. That’s about it.

And everybody else is treated worse by the script, especially the women. Lilli fails the sexy lamp test (Saldana does her best, but she stands no chance to improve what isn’t there) and is fridged, and Naomi might as well be a misbehaving dog (this is no fault of Baptiste who makes more of the role than I ever thought possible). There are no other women of note.

Brothers Jesse (Chris Brown) and Jake (Michael Ealy) looking at each other, shotguns leaning over their shoulders.

The story doesn’t bring anything new to the table either. It wouldn’t have had to if it had realized the utter ridiculousness of most heist and had a bit of fun with it. But it is a serious film, about important stuff, it doesn’t have time for things like “humor”. The robberies themselves are not uninteresting, but directed and edited in a way that they actually come across a little boring.

In short, I couldn’t get into the film. It never managed to interest me in the slightest. In fact, quite the opposite – it was like it actively turned my interest off. That’s rather impressive on its own, but definitely not what I am looking for in a movie.

Gorden (Idris Elba) and John (Paul Walker) wearing fancy suits.

Summarizing: skip it.

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