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034: Takers

Maximilian Rivera November 15, 2016
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By Max Rivera | @MaxRiveraFilm

Premise: A group of bank robbers find their multi-million dollar plan interrupted by a hard-boiled detective.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%

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Take Heat (1995), add in a few rappers, Anakin Skywalker, and that Fast and Furious dude. What do you get? Well, you get Takers (2010), unfortunately. With all these ingredients, the film almost reads as a marketing ploy to put butts in the seat.

That’s the best thing it has going for it, honestly. With a loose premise of a gang of slick criminals taking a risky job, the film wants to show us the rise and fall of these lovable criminals. The only problem is, we’re shown a one-sided struggle as the crew takes the bait.

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Starring Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, T.I. and Chris Brown, this film doesn’t lack for star power. But it does have a weak script that lacks originality, and offers weak a narrative premise for character motivations.

We’re taken into a world where these criminals are at the top of their game — and the cops are struggling assholes, just trying their best to make it by. However, the release of Ghost from prison, a former member of the gang, this crew has a new problem. They’ve saved his cut from their last gig, but what is to stop him from ratting them out once he gets it?

Ghost offers an olive branch in the form of one more gig. This will let them all earn more, and he’s implicated again, putting them all on even footing. Sounds trustworthy, right? The most logical move here for the criminals would be to agree, and then murder him. However, the gang decides to go along with it.

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What follows is a series of preparation scenes, cop shenanigans, and a lot of exposition delivered by T.I. While we tend to hate exposition, T.I. manages to make every line funny, including flatly saying “there’s a lot of tension in this room.”

This film reaches for the dark conclusion that crime doesn’t pay — as we see the mortality of our cops and robbers, but they reach too far. What we’re left with is a hotel shoot out climax that almost plays out like a comedy, followed by a “Mexican standoff” that gives us a funny, yet unsatisfying ending.
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You’re not reinventing the wheel with a film like Takers, but you could at least throw in some originality. We would have loved some more outlandish heists in newer locations — every heist we see has been done before, and it’s nothing to write home about.

We also have to address that Chris Brown is garbage. We’ll leave it at that.

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.