Monday, January 31, 2011

Movie Review: "Takers"

   I love watching movies and watch them as much as time permits. In my heyday, I was the movie of the biggest fans of the screen art to ever grace the seats of a theater. I think it a natural progression, for myself, to start officially reviewing films as only my twisted mind can view them.
   Since this is the first review I’ve ever done publicly, I should probably lay down some ground rules of how I operate. I like to be entertained, so that is the main basis for how I rate a film. There are however, certain elements of a film that will kill the experience for me even though it was an entertaining view. We’ll explore these elements together. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to know anything about it beforehand...don’t read anything I write about a film. If I have issues with the film, I’m gonna say so. The more I like a film, the less I’ll say about it. I want you to have the same experience I did, if at all possible...and also want to spare you any agony I’ve endured (Clash of the Titans). That about sums it let’s begin!
The Cast
Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy, Tip “T.I” Harris, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, and although she didn’t star, I will always mention the good work of my friend Zoe Saldana.
   The cast was put together well and I have no major complaints about anyone’s performance. Even the singers/ rappers turned actors did what I expected of them given the difficulty of the transition. Matt Dillon is a seasoned veteran and his performance carried much of the load of the simplistic script. There wasn’t much room in the script for anybody to nail the audience with lifelong buzz...but Idris Elba is always a joy to watch and in this film we get the bonus of hearing him in his native British accent. I was impressed with the athleticism of Chris Brown and pined for the days of my own youth.
The Plot: 
A bunch of guys get together and commit robberies for a living to support their lavish lifestyle. If that sounds cut and dry...that’s because it is. The saving grace is the subplots that run underneath that hook you into what it’s all about. T.I. is fresh from prison with a scheme to make a score...but every move he makes is part of a larger, undisclosed plan. His being alienated from the rest of the group because he was caught and incarcerated from a previous heist only heightens the tension and curiosity of his master plan. 
   Matt Dillon must catch the robbers, but at the same time, is dodging the Internal Affairs Division because he thinks his excessive approach to his work is catching up with him. With few leads and thin hunches, he struggles to put all the pieces together. Idris Elba’s problem is personal and very touching and grounds us to the idea that we are still watching real people even though they are engaged in a very unreal (for most of us anyway) process. All this collides together in an array of chases, a hail of bullets, and a lot of money!
The Verdict: 
Although I was thoroughly entertained by this film, one of my make-or-break gripes with a film is the ending. After the ride, I was let off at the nearest bus stop while the ending rode away...with me throwing rocks behind it. I felt that after all I had been through with the cast and their issues, they could afford me the courtesy of a package worthy of the cost of shipping. I’ll mention now that this was a rental...and because of the ending, I only saw it once (in contrast to the A-Team which I saw four times).
   Action, explosions, bullets, chases...these are the things that get my blood circulating. This was the type of movie that was certainly my cup of tea...but as fond as I am about cinnamon...this movie only gets two sticks, out of five, in my cup.

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