Sunday 3 October 2010

Review: Takers

Year: 2010
Director: John Luessenhop
Screenplay: Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop, Avery Duff   
Starring: Idris Alba, Paul Walker, Chris Brown, T.I, Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, Jay Hernandez,  Zoe Saldana

It's great to watch films with different friends, cage their reactions and see what they found in the movie that you may have missed. After watching Takers with a good friend whose forgotten more about movies then I know, it was interesting to see what he found in the films architecture, influences and cinematography. He's also a bigger fan of the "B-movie" than I am, so his insight to it was quite worthwhile.

Unfortunately for me despite the clean, sleek look of the movie, the presence of some admirable actors and some nice action moments, Takers is pretty undistinctive. Having watched Ben Affleck create a solid (although cliched) genre piece the week before with The Town, maybe I'm being harsh on the film. However, by the time you see the criminal group of "Takers" walking in slow motion behind an exploding helicopter I had a good hankering for what I was in for.

I won't get too ahead of myself. This film clearly knows it's aspirations and when it hits the notes, the film has some moments of fun. A parkour chase is nicely done, and it was a damn good idea to place Idris Alba in the forefront of the film. But it's hard to get too excited by a film in which Hayden Christensen's role is only characterized by the fact he wears a hat.

In a film in which actors like the aforementioned Christensen and Paul Walker are rubbing shoulders, it would be good for the writers to gives their characters more personality. Stronger actors like Matt Dillon or Idris Alba can do much with little. A flat character played by Paul Walker? Almost a death note. There's also something to be said about giving someone like Zoe Salanda so little screentime. It's more than a bit of a waste.

As I said before, the film is sleek. Shot on what looks to be digital, it'll be a film that appears to have it's eye on blu-ray (understandable considering it's odd opening weekend release) and the film looks good and this is despite that annoying teal and orange colour grading that rears it's head once more. It's a good thing that the film is filmed as slick as it helps detract you from the plain "one more heist" story that plays out. Takers has a screenplay that plays as safe as possible so much so, that you know which of the half baked sub-plots will play out fully and which won't.

Takers will appeal to those who cannot miss yet another heist movie. But if you haven't seen The Town already, it's be better to see that on the big screen and wait for the blu-ray rental.