Friday, August 27, 2010

Movie Review: Takers

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Summer is almost over and all the block busters have run out. We start to slide into the slow season with the horror movies starting with Halloween not too far around the corner, but far enough from the Oscar nominations in January that "the good stuff" is held out until Thanksgiving thru December to be fresh in the mind of academy voters. The major selections this week were a bank heist or an exorcism. OH WAIT! We did have a re-release of Avatar in 3D IMAX only at least in the theater that I regularly attend. Been there, done that except for the extra eight minutes they added. At a cost of $17, that's over $2 per minute and I'd have to endure the other two hours and forty-three minutes, I think instead of giving my money to James Cameron, I'd rather let the bank heist be Takers!

One of the fun parts of watching a bank heist movie is watching the plan come together. The first time we see our "heroes" they are actually pulling off the job. They gather, they execute, they get away to commit more robbery on another day. They're so brazen as to not take out all of the video cameras and mug for the recording. At their final get away destination we are given a little glimpse into the criminals. One drives away in a SUV, another a two-seater vintage sports car and a third on a motor cycle.

The next time we see the gang it's almost like seeing GQ models on set. Champagne, cigars, investment talk. The leader Gordon (Idris Elba) is working with offshore investment bankers. The discussion is of ROI, financial news from Bloomberg and how to make sure the assets are safe. These men look at their thievery as their source of income and even talk about what amounts to a tithe of ten percent to be given to the usual charities anonymously of course! This is their chosen life endeavor as if they were investment bankers.

Chasing the bad guys is the cop who is obsessed with catching them. Jack (Matt Dillon) and his partner Eddie (Jay Hernandez) deal with the day to day events of tracking down every day bad guys, but when these big events hit and new clues become available Jack narrows focus to the detriment of his now ex-wife and daughter. Eddie on the other hand is just barely holding on with life exacerbated by a seriously ill family member.

Just after the big heist a former member of the gang, Ghost (TI "Tip" Harris), is released from jail. He approaches the gang to their surprise with a big pay day of $25-$30 million for a job but it will happen quickly, not like their normal turn around time. All the gang Jesse, Jake, AJ and John (Chris Brown, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen and Paul Walker respectively) agree to take Ghost's plan with Gordon's command. You already know by then, deviating from their norm that plans will not go the way they expect.

As the movie progresses, we realize that we've seen this before. Nothing ground breaking or earth shattering. Is a bad guy really a good guy or a good guy really a bad guy. I found myself not really caring. The character development wasn't in place that I should care for them. To start with most of the main characters are criminals. If they get caught, they're bad guys and not Robin Hood bad guys who are trying to take back what was rightfully theirs. The one person I cared for was Rachel played by Zoe Saldana. She's got some action acting chops and is hawt and yet she only got a few minutes on screen. The movie could have done with more Zoe screen time!

The action was nothing spectacular. There was lots of intense shooting, not a huge amount of blood given the amount of lead that went flying from the different guns. That taken with some language and sexual situations/partial nudity earned the movie a PG-13 rating. Was my one hour and forty-seven minutes wasted? It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. For an end of the summer movie it was just average and probably better than the eight extra minutes in Avatar and in the long run saved myself an hour between the two movies run times.

The Movie Monkey

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