Film Reviews

"Takers" Review: Lots of Explosions -- and Plot Twists That Actually Surprise

"Come drink with me from the goblet of destruction," T.I.'s bank robber quotes Genghis Khan before Takers' big heist kicks off—and he's not joking. Acting as both producer and plot fulcrum, T.I. is the big human attraction in Takers, possessing the raw energy that charisma vacuums Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen (front and center) lack.

Director John Luessenhop works around them in this cheerfully derivative attempt to merge the epically ponderous L.A.-scapes of Michael Mann's Heat (criminals versus police, with equal screen time for both) with the digital blur of Michael Mann's Collateral, but with far more firepower.

At least a third of the running time is taken up by car and foot chases (Chris Brown still can't act, but his parkour is excellent), long Entourage-esque stretches fetishizing expensive clothing, and a generous dose of explosions. The editing is Bourne-fast but mostly coherent, and the plot reversals (no matter how flatly acted) actually do surprise.

Gravel-voiced cop Matt Dillon (evidently aging into his Clint Eastwood years ahead of schedule), in pursuit of T.I.'s merry band, is the only other person as compelling as the impeccable action. That's more than enough to entertain; this is the best baseline-competent action movie to come out all summer.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Vadim Rizov