Takers [movie review].....by IMTHATDUDE


For the younger readers with the short attention span, let me sum up Takers:

OMG! I LMAO’d. Fail.

For those who are not big on words, Takers had too much of this…

And not enough…

For those without ADHD…

John Luessenhop (Lockdown) directs and cowrites Takers. The other coconspirators are Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, and Avery Duff. The interestingly diverse cast includes some of my favorite actors in the field right now Zoe Saldana (Avatar), Idris Elba (The Losers), and Michael Ealy (Miracle at St. Anna), and it also has Matt Dillon (Armored), and Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious). Then there’s the next tier of thespian lead by Tip “T.I” Harris (American Gangster), Hayden Christensen (Jumper), and Fisticuffs Brown. The only thing this movie showcases about Chris Brown’s diverse talent is that along with his apparent hand-speed he has good footwork, not very helpful in a sports car but it can’t hurt… well, not him. (Is that wrong?)

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where a movie or a script goes wrong just by looking at the final product (is it the acting, the casting, the writing, the directing?); but sometimes, it is really easy. With Takers it’s really frickin easy. It was the acting, the casting, the writing, and the directing. It wasn’t all bad, but it all went bad and lightning fast like a Nicki Minaj feature when her verse starts.

Some writer said that Takers is “this generation’s Heat…” Word? As in –

Such a comparison now beseeches the question DID YOU SMURFIN SEE HEAT? I’m sure you didn’t. That or you’ve lost your damned mind. Surely you didn’t mean the Michael Mann/De Niro/Pacino movie or even the Burt Reynolds mid-1980s flick of the same name…

Ahh, I think I know which “Heat” you meant...

I haven’t seen Morrissey’s flick, but after watching Takers, it is clearly the closest comparable “Heat” on the list.


A very intelligent and effective crew of well-armed, but not morally bankrupt, self-proclaimed “Takers” rob a bank. They’ve successfully robbed before (we don’t know how often, but they do aight) are enjoying some significant success. That is, until their fellow Taker (not a snitch) is released from the bing early and seeks them out. He (TI) was injured four years ago on another job where they left him to fend for himself and agreed that there would be no contact and one day out of jail already has plans for a new job that could be a score worth $25M. This figure is important, so if you see this movie, pay attention to that. It is vital to my tears of laughter at the climax of the movie.

Needless to say, the score goes horribly wrong feelings are hurt, the cops are hot on their trail, and some of this tight knit crew (mercifully) will not make it to see the comedic climax of the story. I certainly, do not wish to be accused of spoiling the movie for you, so let me just say, the movie was going along just fine (cruising at a 3.5/5 pace) until the last 10-15 minutes where the breaks brought the film to a screeching halt... and me without my damned seatbelt.

I only had just a few issues with this end of the movie… just a few…

1 ) Chris Brown’s acting… he couldn’t act like he didn’t hear what Rihanna said to him in that car, but I’m supposed to believe he’s a skilled thief that can run and jump over cars with a backpack full of doe… Don’t insult and assault my intelligence.
2 ) Similarly, the foot chase scene… assuming - and this calls for a tremendous suspension of disbelief - that fool C Breezy really could run like Adrian Peterson and Usain Bolt combined, come on, son. A cop really kept pace with him? I watched a cop that was presumably in shape run after a fat dude with a gun (which I also saw) on Gates Avenue in Brooklyn, and he got lapped.
3 ) No cops in the country shoot remotely as straight as Matt Dillon did at a stationary target much less one that’s moving, nor are they remotely as observant or diligent. Sorry, it’s just the stats.
4 ) What crew this successful stays put the way this one does when they’ve made as much bread as they presumably have made? Especially after one of their cohorts has been arrested. I mean, seriously…
5 ) When somebody is shot and they have just enough time to send one last message to a loved one before that last dramatic gasp of air leaves them… pisses me off.
6 ) The brothers McMoron’s (Ealy and Brown) stand at the Alamo (you’ll see what I mean).
7 ) That stupid ass hat Hayden Christensen was wearing.
8 ) TI is not quite ready to carry a movie or be a good villain yet, although he is progressing (which is better than some other people in the movie (see Issue #7).

Look, whenever you cast TI and expect him to play a great bad guy (no matter how hip you want to make the movie), you are asking a lot – unless, you’re making a Master P movie. I know that rappers are actors by definition, but a fresh gun charge, a couple of platinum albums, and a hot mixtape do not a good actor make ( “Get Yo Girl” is the business though). The good news is TI’s grown to be almost as good as Keanu Reeves, bad news is… well, I’ll let you figure that out. The point is, if your movie has a bad guy, the film is only as good as the bad guy – Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, James Earl Jones in Star Wars (not Conan the Barbarian), Travolta and Jackson in Pulp Fiction, Anthony Perkins in Psycho, Kevin Spacey in Seven, and the list goes on. The common theme - stronger stories and actors.

If Takers is this generation’s Heat, then I am exuberantly appreciative to the one true God that I was born in 1976 and consequently too old to be included in “this generation” - for I have precious little respect for them.

BTW: Next time, if you want TI to pick up $25 million dollars of cash money in 2 suitcases you might want to put some wheels on the luggage. I outweighed that cat when I was 12 years old. Pemora’s son out weighs him now. TI may have moved weight, but he obviously never lifted any.

Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, and Michael Ealy are too good for this movie. Like I said, Takers seemed to be going along just fine, but then all of a sudden they decided to try too hard to make the final scenes poignant. It could have been an execution thing, which would mean Luessenhop is to blame, or it could be a casting issue with TI and Chris Brown (that’s a problem with the Hollywood suits), or it could be the writers trying too hard instead of trusting the characters they created (in which case, it’s still Luessenhop’s fault).

Anyway, I hope you do go and see Takers if for no other reason than you get to see the big screen version of the trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s Machete.

Trust me, I spared you all of the bad jokes I could make about the name of this movie. It would just be too easy, even for me.

That Dude gives Takers: 2.5


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.


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