Takers (UK - BD)
Marcus told them the plan was too risky and now the Takers are dodging bullets.
Professional robbers (Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Idris Elba) are living large from their well-executed crimes and life is good, that is until old friend Ghost (T.I.) rolls up with a rushed job that guarantees big money and the team decide to take a gamble.
Takers got a whole lot of slack on the review front when it hit cinemas last year. What with its wannabe Heat style and its mishmash of cast including TV stars, Anakin Skywalker and rappers turned actors. It stunk of a very typical action thriller. Without totally denying that this isn’t the case, Takers has a whole lot going for it. Yes, it’s very, very typical with its well-dressed gentlemen criminals who seem to have access to all the tech they need for their heists, rival mobsters, revenge sub plots and armoured trucks and yes the story is as straight forward as you’d imagine, but as we travel through the paint-by-numbers plot we start getting a handful of set pieces that are a whole lot of fun.
Hayden Christensen fighting in a construction site cabin was great, with Anakin convincingly kicking a whole lot of ass. The actual robbery of the armoured trucks was well paced and genuinely got progressively more exciting (Paul Walkers shunting of the truck was awesome). Little Chris Brown really delivered the goods in his run away chase scene. I usually hate anything that even goes near free running in a movie, but the style of this felt more chaotic and had Brown’s character reacting to the situation as opposed to doing it for show and it really was a highlight in the movie.
Now it’s not all this good throughout. There are some pretty forced feeling subplots with Matt Dillon and his partner being more predictable than dramatic, Idris Elba and his sister’s sub plot added nothing but an extended run time for me, and there’s a weird sense of taking all of this a little too seriously in places that sometimes felt a little too hokey, but honestly none of this killed the enjoyment too much for me.
With the good bits being genuinely good and the iffier bits being easy to get through everything comes to a satisfying end with a pretty epic shootout much in the same style as True Romance. There are a whole lot of guns in hotel room and it really kicks off in a big bad way. By this point I actually liked most of the characters so their world collapsing around them was an enjoyable close of events. So, all in all, while Takers certainly ain’t Heat, it’s enough above average in its genre for it to deserve more praise that it seems to be getting from critics.
Takers is usually soaked in golden oranges or bright blues giving it a super stylised look. Because of these bold colour choices the black levels are deep and the transfer has its moments of looking glorious.
Every now and again the image suffers from being a touch soft but generally textures are rich, especially with skin and stubble and while detail isn’t quite as strong in the scenery or the wider shots the style of the movie fits HD like a glove and looks great on a TV screen.
Despite the odd flutter, this DTS-HD Master Audio track doesn’t really do much out of the ordinary. None of the gunfights have the punch you’d expect, the score isn’t dynamic enough and the showier sound effects don’t really show off enough.
Dialogue is strong and the mix seems balanced well enough but in the bigger scenes, the bass levels seemed to be lacking and I just kept on feeling it should have been a notch ‘more’ across the board to really be effective.
Starting with the commentary by director John Luessenhop, producers Will Packer and Jason Geter as well as Tip "T.I." Harris. The track is consistently upbeat with every member participating with plenty of insider knowledge and stories about the shoot. It’s a fun track and everyone seems to have a lot to say, so it's a nice companion to the movie itself. The only sort of unintentionally funny part is there are a lot of bits where members state the obvious about what's happening on screen, yet its treated like it’s a bit of a reveal.
‘Executing the Heist’ (11:13 HD) is a straight forward making of but was packed with pretty to the point stuff, making it a good watch.
‘Take Action’ (10:08 HD) carries on the same style as the making of and is really just a clips selection of the movie intercut with the cast and crew bigging up the fun stuff, including a show of just how much of the stunt work Chris Brown did in his pretty impressive scene from the movie.
'Yeah Ya Know (Takers) from T.I.' (04:31) is part music video, part extended trailer and wrapping up there’s a Sony Blu-ray trailer and trailers for Easy A, The Green Hornet (which I can’t wait to rewatch by the way) and The Social Network, not forgetting BD-Live as well.
Apparently Stephen King placed Takers in his top ten of 2010. That seems a little far to me, but this movie is a solid flick about criminals, with some great set pieces and a satisfying finale. On a downside there are entire subplots that did nothing for me (including pretty much every scene with Matt Dillon), but even with that taken into account I had quite a bit of fun with Takers and while I won’t be rushing back for a rewatch I enjoyed it while it lasted.
The disc looks great and has an audio track that does its job but left me wanted more. The extras are also a little blink and you’ll miss ‘em too, so all in all this might be a better rental consideration as opposed to a blind buy.
* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 7th February 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Audio Descriptive Service English
Subtitles: English, English HoH, Hindi
Extras: Commentary, Featurettes, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: John Luessenhop
Cast: Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, Idris Elba, T.I., Jay Hernandez, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Zoë Saldaña.
Genre: Action, Crime and Drama
Length: 107 minutes
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