After much anticipation (well from me anyway) Takersfinally came to the UK screens. This film was made two years ago but the release date kept getting pushed back. The reasons were not fully disclosed but I think the Chris Brown and Rihanna domestic may have had a lot to do with it. Takers is a heist film in Oceans Eleven and The Italian Job style which is about a group of bank robbers who embark on one last job. The film stars Idris Elba, T.I, Chris Brown, Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen, Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez and Zoe Saldana. Ok let me give you some back story here: the group was originally formed by Ghost played by T.I but he got put away four years before on a job that the group were doing. Following through on their pact not to spill the beans, Ghost has done his time and is now out. In his absence the group have moved on with Gordon played by Idris Elba taking over as leader. John played by Paul Walker is his second command and AJ played by Hayden Christensen and brothers Jake and Jesse Attica played by Michael Ealy and Chris Brown respectively. To add a spanner to the works, Ghost's former girlfriend, Lilly played by Zoe Saldana is now happily ensconded with Jake and they are engaged.
The film begins with the group completing yet another one of their bank heists and we get to see exactly how they operate. These are no sloppy, two a penny robbers, these guys are organised and very slick - we are talking electronic devices, top notch explosives and some serious planning. The guys also enjoy the fruits of their labour with great houses, flash cars, motorbikes and designer suits. They even donate 10% of the money they have stolen to charity. Oh the irony! Enter Ghost with an in on a very lucrative job that he wants the group to come in on. However the guys are sceptical. Is this the real deal or is it a set up? Is Ghost set on paying them back for his stint in jail? On the flip side we have cops Jack played by Matt Dillon and his partner Eddie played by Jay Hernandez who are hell bent on nailing them and it looks like they are getting closer.
I thought Takers was a great film; it was great to look at visually and the special effects were amazing. Oh and the eye candy was a real treat. The performances from all of the actors were superb and as Michael Ealy said in an interview - everyone brought their A game. T.I was really good in this film, even though he was more or less playing himself he was still very entertaining. Michael Ealy and Chris Brown really do look brothers and their scenes together were very endearing as were the ones with Michael and Zoe. It was weird seeing Hayden in this film because the last time I saw him was in Star Wars but he was awesome but to me it is Idris Elba and Paul Walker who hold this film together. First of Paul Walker really needs a lead role in a major film because that guy has presence but has never quite found the right role to capitalise on it. Idris with his Brit accent and sexy strut totally owns Takers. The great acting allows you to buy into the personalities of the group and I found myself intrigued by them and their lives. Like Gordon's relationship with his older drug addicted sister played by Marianne Baptiste and Jake and Jesse's differences on their incarcarated father. I would have loved to have known how such a bunch of vibrant, smart guys met and got into this scene. I guess we will never know well unless there is a prequel which has been rumoured. My other criticism was the ending - I hated it but I won't tell you what happens, go and see it for yourself. This film is directed by John Luessnhop and produced by Will Packer who I wrote about here.
On another note I was disappointed that Takers did not get the marketing and PR push that it deserved despite the fact that it topped the US box office in the first week. Where were the posters and adverts? I find it demoralising that in 2010 'Black' films are still fighting for the same amount of investments as mainstream ones. Major fail. Takers is out in cinemas now but I would rush and see it asap before they yank it off the screens like they did to Why Did I Get Married Too and Just Wright. Am I bitter? Yeah just a bit.
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