â€œTakers,â€ a slick yet unremarkable re-hash in the heist genre, tries to be the cool younger brother of â€œOceanâ€™s Elevenâ€ and â€œHeatâ€ but ultimately falls into mediocrity.
The film stars a wide array of mostly young, unproven actors as a group of robbers looking to cash in on the next big job. The group is led by Gordon Corzier, who is imperturbably played by Idris Elba. Heâ€™s the brains of the operation, assisted by his gang members who are played by Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown and Michael Ealy.
Then-rapper Clifford â€œT.I.â€ Harris shows up. He plays Ghost, a recent parolee who bit a bullet for the gang back in the day. Heâ€™s back with a major job for the group, one that Corzier and friends are reluctant to take.
Technically, â€œTakersâ€ has a major flaw with its pacing. The first hour is surprisingly talky, then the last 45 minutes is bogged down by action sequences.
This second part is awkwardly initiated by an absurd, long chase scene that has some cool moments but stays long past its welcome.
For the most part, the acting works as ordered. Newcomers Harris and fellow performer Chris Brown show their inexperience while Elba and good cop Matt Dillon stand out in the cast. Also, you wonâ€™t hear any complaints from me that Zoe Saldana gets some screen time as well.
Story-wise there is nothing new in â€œTakers,â€ just the recycled heist narrative that has appeared in countless other movies. What you do get with this one is a stylish delivery, fully equipped with fly clothes and an overload of posturing.
While nothing groundbreaking, â€œTakersâ€ has some rewarding moments to flesh out what is an otherwise below average film.
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.