'Takers': A colorblind caper in classic mold

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The new film Takers is far from perfect and doesn’t break any new ground as far as action/crime thrillers are concerned, but it has enough positive elements to provide an enjoyable ride for audiences and doesn’t overwhelm you by trying to do too much.

One of its strong points is its style. Takers is a classic “cops and robbers” story and it doesn’t stray too far from that mold. There’s just enough exposition on each character that you get a sense that things aren’t necessarily black and white. However, you’re left wanting to know just a bit more about each character to fully understand them, but the surprise is that you may not necessarily root for the good guys at all times.

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The “good” guys are headed by Matt Dillon, who plays Detective Jack Welles, a cop who is so consumed with his job that he takes his young daughter along for the ride while following a suspect. Dillon delivers but is sometimes overly brooding as a cop who must get the bad guy lest he wither in despair. The good guys are shored up by his partner Eddie Hatcher, played by Jay Hernandez. Hatcher believes in Welles but also thinks he’s nuts and doesn’t have his priorities straight when it comes to family.You’ll be thrown by which of the partners really has his head on straight and which one disappoints.

And then there are the “bad” guys (Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy and Chris Brown). They’re a high-stakes, high-rolling group of men who look good, have their “jobs” down to a science, are as slick as they come and definitely enjoy the money that they steal. What’s great is that this modern take doesn’t speak about the fact that there are three black men and two white men that make up the crew. It is what it is. They’re a group of friends who rob with each other and have each other’s backs.

All is well until an old comrade named “Ghost,” played by hip-hop star T.I., who is also an executive producer on the project, is released from prison. We soon find out that Ghost was left behind on a previous job but didn’t rat anyone out. He’s come to get back in the game, and while his motives are questionable he presents his old crew with a once in a lifetime score. This goes against the crew’s code as they’ve just finished a job and only do one a year. But again, it’s the score of a lifetime and the decision they make on whether to do this new job has unimaginable results and consequences for all.

The second biggest strength of Takers is definitely the action. The only problem is that after the opening robbery sequence which is pretty good by any action aficionado’s standards, the movie fails to top it throughout. However, there are one or two other good action sequences including a foot race between cops and Chris Brown’s character which will leave you breathless.

All in all Takers is a fairly good effort with decent action, a predictable but nuanced plot and acting that leaves some room for improvement but is fairly true. My thoughts on the movie can be summed up by an often used phrase between Walker and Elba’s characters, “We good brother? All signs point to it.”