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Give yourself a pass on Takers

Takers: Rates a D+.
Courtesy photo

I’m guessing in a few years, I’ll confuse the title with the Liam Neeson movie Taken from a few years ago.

I’m guessing in a few hours, I will have forgotten about this cliché filled heist film.

Matt Dillon is a cop that plays by his own rules (hey…if the four screenwriters credited with this film can give us clichés, why can’t we throw a few out in the reviews?). He puts off internal affairs (and we see him rough up two different criminals and realize why they’re probably wanting to chat with him).

Dillon has bigger things to worry about – a crew of arrogant bank robbers who work infrequently and plan their crimes out impeccably.

The opening sequence is a good one. And there are a few stylish things that work well for this type of film.

I’m wondering if the audience will laugh at seeing rappers Chris Brown (the Rhianna incident). And. T.I., who in real life just finished a prison stint, playing a character that gets out of prison and wants his old crew (who seem to be working just fine without him), to do a big score. Taking down armored cars that will be carrying $25 million.

Oh, and it also involves the Russians. I’m wondering when the Russians started becoming the bad guys again. This is like the fifth movie I’ve seen this year with Ruskies running roughshod.

The women in this film don’t have a lot to do.

Zoe Saldana pops up briefly. Oh, and there are two bikini clad women waiting in a pool for one of the studly bad guys. With a scene like that, and one shot of them pulling up in their Escalades, Porsches and smoking huge cigars – I thought this film was in danger of breaking out into a rap video.

One of the guys has a sister going in and out of rehab, which I’m guessing could’ve been a more interesting story. Instead, it comes off as a feeble attempt to humanize these guys and perhaps make us care more about them.

This movie isn’t a complete disaster, though. At least half of the scenes work, and for this type of movie, batting .500 is just like a batter doing that in the major leagues.

It’s disappointing that a big shoot-out near the end is done in slow motion with goofy, operatic music playing (and of course, feathers from pillows flying everywhere).

And what would’ve been an amazing chase scene involving Chris Brown, through the streets of L.A., starts strong and goes on and on and on. It’s like the Energizer bunny on steroids.

The cameraman is apparently running along side of him, creating a shaky scene that isn’t as interesting.

Brown does so many flips and jumps over cars, I’m thinking he should’ve been on an Olympic team (for some reason, similar stunts worked well at the start of a James Bond movie a few years back).

I also wondered how many extras were going to be run into by him. I think he hit and knocked over about 20 people.

Since I was still in video game mode from seeing Scott Pilgrim, I thought this scene looked like Frogger.

I’d rather rent a David Mamet heist, than this Michael Mann light.

I’m giving it a D+.