Certain types of films are inherently formulaic. Whether it’s a Western, a cop flick or, in this case, a certain sub-sub genre: the heist film. In such cases, it is not what the director does as much as how he or she does it. Although this is true for plenty of films, it is especially true with a heist flick.
This is why I can forgive “Takers” for its formulaic plot, to some extent. Beyond this grace, it is hard to absolve a film so trite and clichÃÂ©d. The film places style firmly above substance 8212; and the style is not that interesting.
The film begins when the main character, Ghost, played by rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris, is released from prison. He then approaches the group of thieves he used to be part of 8212; the titular “takers” 8212; and makes an offer to pull a heist on a pair of armored trucks. All the while, a hard-boiled cop, played by Matt Dillon, and his partner try to stop them.
There is considerable, palpable tension between Ghost and the other members of the group, played by Idris Elba, Hayden Christensen and Chris Brown.
Although Brown’s performance is slightly above a vanity bit, T.I. seems out of place in this film, especially in playing the part of an estranged thief with dubious intentions.
Few of the performances really stand out, but then again, it is hard to impress an audience with such simplistic characters. The characters have shallow motives and, although there are a few emotional moments, they still feel forced.
The main appeal of this film is its glitz. The thieves are dressed to kill with that GQ business attire look and they do look very cool walking in slow motion away from an exploding helicopter and engaging in gunplay. This is the main feature of a film that, even amidst its brilliant outer veneer, winds up falling into genre pitfalls, much like the armored trucks in the second half of the movie.
This is the sort of movie you’ve seen many, many times before, so there’s nothing more to say.
“Takers” will only take 107 minutes of your time and will leave you with neither outrage nor amazement. It is perfectly forgettable.
Nick Green is a freshman business major from Parker, Colo.