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'Takers' starring rapper T.I. is some end of the summer fun

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Though one might be quick to dismiss it as an end-of-summer cash grab, Takers is an incredibly'Takers' photo: www.moviecarpet.com enjoyable action flick. The film’s energetic pacing is its biggest strength. And while there are weaknesses, the audience simply doesn’t have time to think them through.

The plot is simple and direct; Idris Elba’s Gordon is the ringleader of a small, cohesive group of bank robbers who work fast and live even faster. Matt Dillon is Detective Jack Welles, who is trying to catch them, and rapper T.I. plays is a newly released member of Gordon’s crew. He presents them with a high-stakes opportunity that, as he says, is very much like “The Italian Job” (the new one, not the good one). Nothing is what it seems, except this movie – which delivers on the promises of high-octane action very quickly, and doesn’t let up for the rest of the movie.

Takers is an excellent combination of modern heist films and big-budget action films. It also feels oddly like an American homage to late 80’s Hong Kong gangster cinema, ala John Woo’s The Killer, Hard Boiled, and A Better Tomorrow – but brought up to date, and up to speed. But where other films would dwell on minor things like plotting and character development, Takers doesn’t.

If one examined the script, it couldn’t have been more than sixty pages, punctuated by “people shooting at each other. Things blow up. Slow motion when necessary. ” The scenes that take place between bullet-fire are hit-and-miss, depending on the actors involved - but by the time one thinks, “hey, that dialogue was a little off”, there’s an action scene to distract and amaze. The cinematography shines in these moments, keeping the requisite tension high, and upping the ante where needed.

Though this is clearly a B-movie with threadbare characters, Elba and Dillon brought their A-game; Chris Brown and T.I., not so much. Bear in mind, though, that everything in this film was done in service of the gun, the thrill, and the ka-boom – and after Brown’s frenetic chase scene, you’ll forgive him his acting foibles. (T.I., not so much.)

Takers has no pretensions, other than being a solid action movie with a breakneck pace. In that, it succeeds. I heartily recommend it to casual moviegoers and fans of action movies, knowing that they will be well served; the more discerning critic won’t have time to nitpick.

Philly2Philly Grade: B+

Contact Brian Lynch at brian.andrew.lynch@gmail.com

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