‘Takers’ Review

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

takers paul walker hayden christensen cast michael ealy zoe saldana Takers Review
Screen Rant’s Sandy Schaefer reviews Takers

Have you ever known a suit-wearing hipster that enjoys boasting loudly about how totally awesome he is and imagines himself to be a trendsetter – when really, there is absolutely nothing original about the way he dresses or how he talks?  If that guy were a movie, he would be Takers.

Every cliché plot element, stock character, and bit of visual flair that has ever reared its overused head in an action movie or heist film shows up in Takers, with one exception – no one in the movie gets to throw their head back in despair and scream “NO!” Honestly, it’s kind of disappointing that director John Luessenhop did not go for the gusto and include that one as well.

Savvy criminals are always the main characters in a heist movie and Takers is no exception.  The crew of skilled thieves includes jazz piano player A.J. (played by Hayden Christensen); gentlemanly Jake (Michael Ealy) and his ex-convict brother, Jesse (Chris Brown); the professional type, John (Paul Walker); and the leader of the group – with a spiffy accent to boot – Gordon (Idris Elba).

The gang pulls off yet another profitable job (the plan for which apparently involved commandeering a news chopper) around the same time one of their former comrades, Ghost (rapper T.I.) gets out of prison early for good behavior.  He approaches the group with the promise of a very profitable job involving the takedown of an armored van, with less than a week’s time to prepare – despite the fact that they always wait at least a year before attempting another high-stakes job.

Gordon and his fellow bank robbers are immediately wary of Ghost’s proposal – and not only because 1) Ghost spent several years in jail after one of their jobs went wrong, and 2) His old girlfriend, Rachel (Zoe Saldana, wasted in a role that has her onscreen for maybe 3-5 minutes total) recently became engaged to Jake.  For reasons that are never fully explained (greed, I suppose), the Takers decides to do the job anyway.

Takers movie image Takers Review

The 'Takers' crew

Meanwhile, police detective Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) leads an investigation to find the group and bring them to justice.  He is your stereotypical movie cop (workaholic, personal life is a mess, etc.), except that, oddly enough, he is not actually that good at his job.  Jack is also a definite contender for the Worst Parent of the Year Award – especially after he pursues the Takers in his car WITH HIS PRE-TEEN DAUGHTER RIDING SHOTGUN and almost gets the both of them killed.

The Taker’s plans predictably go awry, which results in a lot of explosions, gun fights, and an on-foot chase sequence that involves Chris Brown’s character, Jesse – who apparently has the athletic abilities of Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and a professional sprinter all rolled into one. [SPOILER AHEAD] He is also cornered and killed at the end of the film, going out in a blaze of glory that feels like a rip-off of the ending of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid [END SPOILER].  Shockingly, the end credits reveal that Chris Brown was one of the producers of Takers as well.

Takers in general is simply a lifeless affair – the characters are one-dimensional and lacking in the areas of emotional depth and charisma; every twist and turn in the plot can be spotted from a mile away; and it is legitimately not clear what the movie was even about, in the end – something about “crime doesn’t (always) pay,” perhaps.

These matters aren’t helped by the fact that the film’s director of photography, Michael Barrett, decided to go with a District 9 aesthetic.  Viewers prone to feeling woozy when they watch movies with a lot of messy, hand-held camerawork should beware since Takers is a poorly done example of that mode of filmmaking – not to mention the fact that the editor seemingly suffered from a severe case of ADD (and in the age of the Transformers and Jason Bourne movies, that is saying something).

Takers Movie Image Takers Review

Takers wants to be the kind of crime drama that Michael Mann (Heat, Public Enemies) would make and it shows.  The film is shot like a gritty actioner and the cast members spend a good portion of their time onscreen trying to look cool – all while pounding hip-hop music blares on over nearly every scene.  Ultimately, the movie tries so hard to be slick and stylish that it becomes flat-out annoying.

Those that are really in the mood to see a good heist movie that involves men strutting around in expensive suits – not to mention lots of gunfire and explosive set pieces – should pass on Takers and just go see Inception again instead.  It might even be playing at the local dollar theater now.

Takers trailer:

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Our Rating:

2 out of 5

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  1. Say what you will, they are a dashing bunch, though ;)

  2. Half of the people on here posting are *expletive* hypocrites…sorry vic. But who cares what chris brown does in his personal life. I dont give two craps. But I guess if someone like Mel Gibson comes back to do Mad Max then the same people talking about not wanting to see chris brown in the movie because of what happened will be the first inline to watch Mel’s newest movie. Some of you people make me sick. If the dude is a bad actor I can accept that but dont pick and choose the actors you want to support based on what they do offscreen…when thats not what were even here for.

    • iceman

      really? you DON”T care that this guy beat the crap out of a young girl?

      mel gibson ALLEGEDLY said things – WORDS – and chris brown actually punched, choked and bit rhianna and there are pictures to prove it. furthermore, he never sincerely apologized for it.

      him being a bad actor is worse to you then him being a woman beater…ok then

  3. sure, let him live his life and remain unpunished for the little beating he put on a young girl that sent her to the hospital. yeah, let’s not talk about that.

    sorry but ppl like you are part of the reason these celebrities/athletes/pop stars get away with doing absolutely horrible things. you commit a crime, you get punished. end of story. now if you have no problem with chris brown beating up a girl, roman polanski raping (anal) a 14 yr old girl, etc. that’s your business and your right, but why would you criticize others that do have a problem with these acts? sorry, some of us find what chris brown did absolutely vile.

    and actually the author did do a great job as a reviewer and a journalist because she did her research, gave her opinion in a coherent and entertaining fashion and left it up to you to make your own opinion.

      • I never did anything even remotely close to punching a girl in the face multiple times, biting her and choking her. So no.

        Not sure what kind of person you are if you can just write off something like as a mistake that can be forgiven and forgotten.

    • why are so concerned about it there are ppl who worse things and not get punished leave him alone and live your own damn life….. dont base anything you do from other ppls actions its quite annoying when ppl do that its not changing anything the world will keep spinning regardless

      • What he did is one of the worst things you could do. Laying your hand on a woman is an awful awful thing and he deserves nothing short of being locked away in prison for a long time. I wouldn’t shed a tear if someone shot this pile of trash.

  4. Sure I’ve made mistakes. I got a B on a math test, I forgot to fill out the back side of paper work, I accidently told a blind man to look at the view, I paid a bill late and I even drove 10 miles over the speed limit.

    However I have never beaten a woman half to death. My definition of mistake is vastly different from yours. Beating a girl is not a mistake. I didn’t accidently trip and hit her over and over in the face. The moment you lay your hands on a female it’s beyond mistake. It’s disgusting.

    I forgive alot of things. You stole something once I can forgive that. You hit me in the face because I stepped on your shoe live and live. Hell you accidently run a red light and injure me in a car wreck eventually I’ll forgive. However at a girl and I will never forgive you. It’s unforgivable. Hurting a woman or child are two of the worst things you can do and you deserve all the hatred in the world. You wouldn’t be so forgiving if that was your mom, daughter or sister.

    • Not excusing Chris Brown, but what if a female was drowning your newborn baby? Would it be okay to hit her then? I’m not advocating violence against women, but alot of times, men like you, make women feel it’s okay to do vile things to men, because of sensitized wimps with your mentality.

      We don’t know what was said between Chris Brown and Rhianna, but IMO, he should of just walked away. Never let a female get the best of you verbally, just walk away. You asked the question, if it was my mom, daughter, or sister. Well that depends.

      What if one of them stole from someone, or if they were the aggressors, and were trying to cause bodily harm to a male. Females can do that you know? Again, not defending Chris Brown, but I’ve seen first hand accounts of women pouring gasoline on men cars, with the men still inside. I guess the guy should just burn to death, because it’s a female pouring the gasoline.

      I just don’t see how you could NEVER forgive someone for hitting a female, even if it was JUSTIFIED. Not saying Chris Brown falls into that category, because he needs to GROW UP, and not let people get under his skin like that. This will be a HUGE stain on his career from not on.

      P.S. Didn’t Batman, Christian Bale, beat up his MOM AND SISTER???

  5. bunch of bullcrap

  6. may chris brown have a miserable life -why should these hollywood stars have it easy?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

  7. The critics were dead wrong on this one. I really enjoyed the movie. It was very entertaining.

  8. I can see both sides of the argument. Yes what chris brown was horrible and I do not condone that type of behavior however earlier posts are correct. Look at Mel Gibson. Roman Polanski. Tom cruise vs. Brooke shields. Unless you are non supporters of these actors and directors then an anti Chris brown stance is hypocritical. Watch a movie a for what it is: an escape. If you feel the need to critique a film based on what perez Hilton or any other tabloid says you probably shouldn’t be watching it in the first place

  9. Despite what critics say, I watched the movie for myself and I LOVE it…I think people are thinking way to hard into the movie. Everyone is expecting their typical movie. I get tired of seeing typical movies and i think that T.I and Chris Brown did a good job. I didn’t need a lifetime movie that had all these people leading separate type of drama. It focused on the point blowing stuff up, shooting people, and hot guys in suits. Thats really all that is needed at the end of the day.

  10. I really liked this film, its sort of different and its got really fit guys in this movie(Paul walker and hayden christensen). Takers has alot of action and punch ups and a good twist at the end. Chris brown played good in this movie especially the running scene but what i don’t get is people saying that they wont watch it because he is in it is a bit stupid because you see and hear a lot of domestic violence around the world or across your street and i bet a lot of people wouldnt care but because Rihanna is famous its a different story, rihanna is still human she aint the queen or royalty so she should be treatted the same!! im not saying what chris brown did id right but we all make mistakes so don’t take it out on the film!!

  11. The reviewer got it right. The whole movie was straight up whacked. The only entertaining part was Chris Brown’s foot-chase. The ending sucked, the acting wasn’t great (Chris Brown was the worst), and the story was entirely to predictable and the character were one-dimensional and annoying. Dreadful movie.

  12. Stuck at home feeling rough and saw this movie advertised on sky. Never heard of it before but thought I’d give it a go. Really happy to have done so. Always been a movie fan and especially the action movie genre, however still appreciate good movies of most genre’s ie maltese falcon, green mile and shawshank redemption are among my favourite films. Sometimes however you just want to watch a movie and escape into a different world. This might not be a thinking mans movie but it is the kind you can watch an enjoy just for being what it is. Which is a well made stylish action packed heist movie very similar to Michael Mann’s Heat. I actually enjoyed this more than Heat and found it slightly less predictable. This is a totally different type of movie from Inception with which the critic compares it. I watched that for the first time last week and didn’t enjoy that half as much!. If you enjoy this kind of movie I would diffinately give it a look. Most enjoyable film Iv’e watched in months.


  13. leave Chris alone He bashed rihanna ages ago that was the past he is looking forward to the future man. Chris Brown Is Awesome He Has A Amazing Vioce So Stop Running Him Down You Low Life People Get a life and worry about your own life’s. He made a mistake Yeah but Don’t take it out on him Just Saying Peace