Takers: A Look Back At Failure
Recently, people have been putting together their “Best Of” and “Worst Of” lists. Their Oscar picks of who should have won and who did. Reviews of movies that actually came out this month. I considered doing one of these, but you know, I didn’t. Instead, I bring you a review of movie from 2010. A movie I’ve long wanted to review, but couldn’t bring myself to watch it again. But I did. I suffered through it to bring you this. It’s not even the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s just so poorly made at nearly every turn, that I had to express it in a long winded, pompous and douche-Bilbo-Baggian way.
I bring you the review of Takers.
The movie has an ensemble cast of six criminals: Idris Elba Good Actor, who has one of the only reputable acting credits, Paul Walker, God rest his soul, of the genius “Fast and Furious” series, Hayden Christensen/Anakin, whose groundbreaking role in the Star Wars prequels made him a household name, Michael Ealy, who has done nothing of recognition, and Chris Brown. Yes, Chris Brown of the “I beat Rihanna” fame. The two cops in the film are Matt Dillon, who cannot seem to get good work, and Jay Hernandez, in his 20th role as a shitty cop or side character people forget. He’s just Jay Hernandez. Even his name sounds like a punchline.
The film opens with both groups doing their awesome jobs: Cops and Robbers. Fuck yeah, super cool. Dillon and Jay Hernandez are driving down the road to a badass song. Dillon drinks from a water bottle. He doesn’t have time for fucking alcohol. “You look like shit man.” Best opening line from Jay Hernandez. “I’m alright,” Dillon darkly returns. “Keep tellin’ yourself that.” Jay Hernandez replies. Dillon crushes the water bottle and puts on sunglasses. Fantastic start.
There is light dialog about Dillon’s kid and, of course, divorced wife. The tone is “stay out of it man, it’s my problem!” Dillon answers the phone with “Yo D-Mac what’s up?” and they’re off to bust some heads. Because D-Mac is a legit cop buddy name. We cut over to a bank, or something, and the robbers slowly enter a room together. Elba Good Actor, the leader, asks, “We good?” “All signs point to it.” responds a witty and charming Walker, God rest his soul. So amazing. They both do some sort of golf swing with one arm thing, as though that is what cool people do instead of just, you know, asking if we’re ready to do our illegal shit. Ealy, who I will now refer to as Actor Guy, and Chris Brown, brothers in the movie, enter the room disguised as a postman (“Which one of you gentlemen is gonna sign for this?” LOL!) and a janitor, who says “I heard there was a problem with the toilet?” Clearly, these guys are close buds who joke around while robbing people. And yes Chris Brown, the toilet does need servicing after you smashed Rihanna’s face into it.
Back to the cops, who enter some building and beat some people down. When Dillon comes to Jay Hernandez, he’s holding his head next to a door and claims his culprit got away. ANYONE in the audience would have yelled “BULLSHIT!” right there. It’s painfully obvious he lied, but we’ll get to that later. Jay Hernandez.
Back at the bank, the robbers have somehow found a room where no one goes ever and are loading guns, putting on ski masks and being cool. They walk out of an elevator and BLOW IT UP. The robbers enter a room and proceed to beat the shit out of cops, shoot windows and scream loudly. “We’re not here to hurt you!” Elba Good Actor yells, as a woman is slammed to the floor. Chris Brown is pleased by this. During the robbery, another woman manages to push the silent alarm. “Ah, ah, ah! We got a naughty one here!” says Walker, God rest his soul, maybe, since I can’t see anyone with ski masks on. They have her make a call, saying there is a robbery in progress, take the money and leave. Chris Brown makes some sort of double-salute victory sign at the security camera before he leaves and you hate him more.
“There’s a robbery in progress downtown! Let’s go!” yells the conveniently placed news team helicopter pilot. The cops arrive at the building, but you already know it’s pointless. Hayden Christensen/Anakin smokes a cigarette on the top floor in a cop uniform and shades. Awesome, good. The chopper arrives and he makes them get down on the ground RIGHT as the robbers come up the stairs. Brilliantly planned. “Nothin’ but glorified paparazzi.” he states as his bros get in the chopper. They pass another news chopper, whose pilot states, “There goes channel four, going the wrong way. That’s why they’re in last place!” HAHAHA GET IT? SEE THEY DIDN’T KNOW THE ROBBERS WERE IN THERE! Fuck.
They land the chopper in some parking lot, which clearly no one can see, and get the money out. They throw something into the chopper and as they walk away it EXPLODES. In slow motion. And they don’t look back. So. Fucking. Cool. Then they drive away in their really cool sports cars and don’t say a word to each other. Chris Brown kinda stumbles on his motorcycle a bit.
The rest of the film falls in line. Ghost, yes his name is actually Ghost and they refer to his as such multiple times, a former member of the crew who was left behind at a robbery five years ago when he got shot, gets out of prison and comes to see them about a new job. Played by the rapper T.I., every line he delivers makes me cringe. He tries SO hard to be a badass and it DOES NOT WORK. Plus, it’s so obvious that he wants to fuck them over, not make money. He wants to “Go Italian Job on that ass.” whatever that is supposed to mean, when he presents the outline to a job robbing armored trucks. T.I. the Ghost has “the route” of the trucks and when questioned about how he gained access to it, he explains that he got in good with a Russian for keeping people off his back in jail. In exchange, the Russians have friends on the outside who will screw the job up, saying they’ll kill their family in the Ukraine all the way down to the sheep dogs. “Why should we trust the Russians?” asks Walker, God rest his soul. A legitimate question indeed. “Cause they love their sheep dogs.” T.I. the Ghost replies. The screenwriter is a fucking word smith. Confused? Pissed? Already stop reading? Good, all is well.
The crew has a meeting later to discuss and one of them says “We always wait at least a year between jobs.” But Elba Good Actor counters with the wittiest line of the film that both captures the film’s title and their line of work magnificently.
“We’re takers gents, that’s what we do for a living. We take.” I actually put my hands on my head for that one.
The way too well dressed robbers set up plans: blast out the ground from underneath the truck as it passes over and rob them once it falls underground. Totally plausible. They need C-4, which they acquire from shady dealers or something. Somehow Hayden Christensen/Anakin beats up four guys alone and it makes no sense. Why does he have these skills? They don’t matter and never come back into play, but apparently we need to know that skinny Anakin can destroy four huge guys with a pool stick and fists.
It should also be noted at this point that Hayden Christensen/Anakin has been wearing a hat for most of this movie:
Yes, he looks like that and, apparently, feels no shame. I guess because we don’t get to know any of these guys beyond a surface level meeting they thought it would be “cool” to have him wear a hat and therefore stick out from the bunch. “I’m the young and wild one! Watch out for me and my hat!” Keep his hat in mind, however, for it plays a significant role later.
Back to the cops: Dillon and Jay Hernandez find out stuff about the Russians and the heist, Dillon is a bad divorced father, fuckin’ whatever. It’s boring. Jay Hernandez.
Somehow, the robbers manage to rig C-4 under the bridge without literally anyone asking questions. T.I. the Ghost holds out his flask and says, “Come sip from the cup of destruction.” “Genghis Khan,” Walker, God rest his soul, replies. “Yeah. One of my heroes. Saw what he wanted, reached out and took it. Like us, tomorrow.” T.I. the Ghost prophesizes.
Before the BIG ROBBERY happens, Dillon gets called into an office. “THIS IS CHICKEN SHIT CHIEF, I CAN DO POLICE THINGS BECAUSE REASONS AND STUFF!” Dillon says to try and wake up the audience from their coma. You’re supposed to think they’re calling him in for roughing up a criminal too much during an arrest. However, SURPIRSE MOTHER FUCKER, he is shown video evidence of Jay Hernandez letting the criminal go in the first scene and pocketing some EXTRA DRUG MONEY before SLAMMING HIS HEAD AGAINST THE DOOR to make it look like A SCUFFLE! Oh FUCK! I had NO IDEA!
“Why’d you do it…why’d you take the money?” asks a dark and brooding Dillon. Wah-wah boo-hoo story about his kids medical bills, free money for the taking, whatever shit. There’s no sympathy because it’s Jay Hernandez. For some reason Dillon is okay with Jay Hernandez coming with him to stop Elba Good Actor and Friends. Jay Hernandez.
All the robbers are underground waiting for the trucks with lots of cool money to come so they can blow up the road and do their heisty cool thing. Walker, God rest his soul, waits with a SNIPER RIFLE trained on T.I. the Ghost in case he double-crosses them, who is now dressed as a traffic cop so he can direct the trucks where they need to go. Again, no one questions this.
As the truck is closing in to the destination, some dipshit kid on a bike zooms in front of the truck, causing it stop just short of the mark. The explosion happens which causes the kid on the bike to go FLYING in the other direction. Instead of aborting, as Elba Good Actor insists they do several times, the robbers blindly fire at the guards when they look into the hole. The guards wildly fire back and the movie continues to make no sense. Adding to that, Walker, God rest his soul, comes and PUNCHES out a guard, commandeers a truck and RAMS the one with the money, including his own truck, INTO THE HOLE. No one is hurt and it’s all fine and normal.
All the robbers scatter after they take the money, exiting though the sewer systems and subways. SO COOL. Chris Brown is the first to exit, now eating ice cream on a stick. He ogles a woman and wonders if her face, when pounded to a pulp, would resemble Rihanna’s. Somehow, in a crowd of thousands, Dillon and Jay Hernandez, who have magically arrived, spot and begin to chase Chris Brown.
The chase scene was filmed by someone with Parkinson’s. Chris Brown runs into about twelve cars and knows parkour, of course, for no reason. He also actually slams a woman into a wall halfway through the scene and I stopped the movie because I was laughing too much. NOT THAT I WOULD HAVE MISSED ANYTHING IF I CONTINUED LAUGHING THROUGH THE SCENES. I didn’t want to give the impression the movie was worth pausing for anything.
Anyway, Jay Hernandez corners him, it cuts away and we hear gunfire. SURPRISE AGAIN, Jay Hernandez is now dying. He actually says “Tell Monica I love her…” before dying. It’s as clichéd as possible. Plus, Jay Hernandez.
Police Chief Whoeverthefuck decides “IT’S COOL BRAH, HE DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY, COP’S BURIAL AND FULL BENEFITS. FORGET THE TAAAAAPEEEEE BRO.” So Jay Hernandez is totally fine but also dead. Fuck it? Asked if he’s okay, Dillon coolly responds, “I’m fine.” ECHOING THE FIRST SCENE, GODDAMN SO UNIQUE.
At some hotel in Super Expensive Land, the robbers all meet up and count money and act smug and cool. A knock on the door and EVERYONE PULLS OUT GUNS AND LOADS THEM. Who do they expect? And if it’s someone they want to shoot, what are they going to do after? Assume no one heard thirty bullets? Anyway, at the door is Chris Brown. He explains why he is late, how he hit six women, and also shot a cop. When asked why he shot him, he says this:
“I had no choice! He had me cold man! But he never fired at me…it was kinda like…like HE WANTED ME TO SHOOT HIM.”
Pretend everything in caps lock at the end was said in slow motion. HEY AUDIENCE, JAY HERNANDEZ GOT SHOT ON PURPOSE SO HE COULD GET MONEY FOR HIS FAMILY. GET IT? GET IT? Thanks Takers, I needed MORE leading scenes in this very difficult to follow caper/thriller. Scorsese-like almost.
A group of rough and poorly dressed Russians come into the hotel with bags, all of which are clearly carrying guns, and none of them are stopped. One of them IS wearing a shirt with the letters USA boldly written across it, so his cover is clearly uncompromised. While T.I. the Ghost slips out the window after informing the Russians of the room number, they just blow down the door with shotguns and the worst gunfight you have even seen unfolds before your eyes. It is an amalgamation of terrible noises, bad dialog, and echo effects on said dialog to add even more shit to this already overflowing toilet of garbage. Chris Brown, can you please unclog THIS mess?
Hayden Christensen/Anakin Hat Guy gets shot early and then jumps eighteen feet in the air and fires five shots before being plugged again and dying. It’s supposed to be a sacrifice, but really, everyone was already safe and he mostly just died cause he sucked and wasn’t fast enough. However, this awesome song, given the super original title “Sacrifice”, plays RIGHT as he jumps and gets shot:
Yup. It also continues for the rest of the scene. Wait for about the 0:52 second mark and the next gem of dialog is spoken.
“SHIT WHO ARE THESE GUYS?!” “SOUNDS LIKE RUSSIANS!” At this point, no one has spoken yet. They just yelled and shot a lot of bullets. No way to decipher that, at all. Actor Guy actually kills some people, but you don’t care because at this point you’ve entirely forgoten who he is or why he exists.
At the end, they all sit down by dead Hayden Christensen/Anakin Hat Guy, breath heavily, and look sad. Then, as if to say “this was all your character amounted to” they place his hat on his chest. Again, this actually happened in the movie. It was real.
Chris Brown and Actor Guy return home to find pointless girlfriend dead. Right, forgot to mention Zoe Saldana is Actor Guy’s girlfriend who used to date T.I. the Ghost. Did you care? No. So, yeah, she’s dead now for unexplained reasons. They cry a lot and their house is surrounded by cops because reasons. They load the same gun ten times and look sad and brooding. Chris Brown is a little upset he didn’t get to beat the girlfriend first.
“My car is out back, where’s yours?” “In front.” Let’s take yours.” CAUSE THAT MAKES SENSE. Then they walk outside, to the SAME song Hayden Christensen/Anakin Hat Guy died to not five minutes ago, and promptly get blown away cause that’s cool? I don’t know I’d given up long ago at this point. Here’s that bitchin’ song again though:
So since the Brothers Fuck committed suicide for no reason, Walker, God rest his soul, and Elba Good Actor are all that’s left. Realizing the T.I. the Ghost plans to take ALL THEIR MONEY OH GOD NOOOO they go where their broker, Scott, is about to leave on a private jet. Of course, he is shot because he is expendable and dumb. Elba Good Actor and T.I. the Ghost have a standoff until Dillon, who everyone forgot about because he’s also useless, appears and manages to make things worse.
Somehow, T.I. the Ghost shoots BOTH of them fatally and manages to only take minimal damage himself. As he says some dumb bad guy lines instead of just killing people, Walker, God rest his poor, poor soul, shoots him from the shadows and rescues Elba Good Actor. They take the money and leave Dillon, essentially, to die. Cause FUCK DA POH LEECE!
“I’ve been shot and I need help…a lot of help…” are Dillon’s last words of the film. SEE? HE UNDERSTANDS NOW THAT HE CAN’T DO EVERYTHING ON HIS OWN AND UGUHGUHGUHUHGUHGUHGUHGUHUGHUGHGUHGHUGHUGHUGHAHAHHHHHH!
Elba Good Actor and Walker, God rest his soul, drive away. As he bleeds out all over everything, his sister (also yes he had a sister that was a subplot in the movie, she was a drug addict and tried to give you sympathy points for Elba Good Actor. She sucked and no one cared) holds his hand from the back seat and Walker, God rest his SOUL, says “We good brother?” “All signs point to it…” Elba Good Actor responds because THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID A LOT IN THE MOVIE ONLY THIS TIME IT WAS REVERSED AS TO WHO SAID IT.
And no, obviously signs don’t point to things being good. YOU’RE DYING. Also, that’s the end. The car drives off and another winning soundtrack choice of hard rock coolness plays over credits. Along with two middle fingers from the director and a “fuck you” from the writers. No idea if Dillon or Elba Good Actor lives, not that you care, and everyone else DIED.
Who was this movie for? Is it for the people who liked Ocean’s 11 but wanted more GRIT and BADASS music? Darker sets and SHAKY CAM! I don’t know, I don’t care. This movie is pretty much a pile of rubbish. Everyone is one note and can’t act. But it’s a train wreck and I had to finish the carnage to know what happened and why. It makes me want to shoot a caper film, but do everything they did SO wrong and make it good. Or, you know, not hire any of these people to write or shoot these movies again.
What kills me more is it had a forty million dollar profit. How. Fuckin’…why? Who saw this? The filmmakers are awful, that much is obvious. However, people saw this movie IN theaters and paid money. They are the true culprits. They are the…TAKERS. HAHAHAHAAHHUHUHUHUHUHHHEHEHEHEHEHEHHAHHAFUUUUUUUUUCKYOU.
However, if you’re a woman and you DIDN’T see this movie, watch out for Chris Brown. HE’S COMIN’ FOR YA!