To be fully truthful to my faithful readers and followers of Blood Brothers, I wasn't even fully sure if a review for "Takers" deserved to be written. Although it turned out to be a decent film (much to my surprise honestly), I figured since I reviewed "Armored" why the hell not another armored truck heist film. This lacks some the charisma of other heist films like "Armored" and lacks some of the epic drama of "Heat", but it does have some solid moments and a relatively well built heist sequence. Which is more than I expected from a film that boasts rapper T.I. and pop artist Chris Brown as two of its main attractions.
A group of well off thieves (Walker, Elba, Ealy, Brown, and Christensen) just pulled off their biggest heist yet, when a ex-team member named Ghost (T.I.) presents them with a new spectacularly hard heist to ponder. Pulling info from some rogue Russians, this armored truck heist may provide them with enough cash to never have to steal again. With betrayal seemingly boiling amongst these 'takers' and a couple of cops (Dillion and Hernandez) hot on their tail, they may have to cut it quickly and haphazardly. Something that just may lead to their eventual demise.
With an ensemble cast of semi-big name actors, "Takers" comes off as a rather lower level knock off "The Italian Job" more often than not (this is ironic since one of the characters even calls the heist an 'Italian job' at one point). Although the cast is far to big to truly develop them the way this film should have, it does get credit for trying and having the know how to focus on a couple of our thieves for the audience to build some sort of connection and sympathy for them. It's not quite enough though and the final showdown seemingly feels flat as we don't care enough to truly root for the baddies or the goodies. It just spreads itself too thin to build the drama that it could have.
It does however, despite some of its cliche moments and paper thin twists, have some surprisingly solid action pieces. The truck heist itself is well crafted (sans T.I. continued over dubbed remarks of useless nature) and the shootout with the Russians has a very epic and snazzy visual flair. This part of "Takers" was the most pleasant of surprises and carries the film up a couple of stars to where it sits now. Not sure I agree with how the director and writers handled wrapping it up, but it works for what it is.
"Takers" gets a solid 'A' for effort on trying to give depth and meaning to a rather cliche and over-packed character driven film. It's got some great set pieces and ideas that carry over some of its flaws, but it still succumbs to the foundational problems of its plot and semi-hammed up acting. Not a complete waste of time and fans of heist films will get some kicks here, but it lacks the punch and subtle commentaries it needed to push it up to the next level.
Written By Matt Reifschneider