A group of thieves take a job tipped by their recently released from jail former associate, but the heat is on with the police hot on their trail.
With some tippex and thinner this may well have been a proposed sequel to Michael Mann’s 1995 hit Heat. It has a solid story with a cast of terrific actors and an above par supporting cast including Jay Hernandez and Chris Brown in a free-running spree. Leads include physical, quirky Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba and Paul Walker in a Chris Shiherlis/Val Kilmer type role who are all on form. Matt Dillon steals the show in another heat-alike role reminiscent of Al Pacino’s Hanna. That said, Zoe Saldana’s talents are completely wasted, reduced to simple eye candy.
Love or hate it, director John Luessenhop’s and Michael Barrett’s photography handheld camera look is frustrating, possibly better reserved for the action setups or a horror film as in Takers case it quickly becomes tiresome, Mann’s Collateral (2004) it is not.
There’s some great sound design with the shootouts becoming semi-silent allowing certain sounds and cues to be heard. With a fistful of writers namely Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, Luessenhop and Avery Duff there’s still some questionable character motives and actions, this aside it has slick costumes, cool music from Haslinger, great lighting and grand settings – as a simple heist film with interesting characters it works perfectly.
Nevertheless, the camera work takes you out of the moment, robbing Takers of any finesse and tension.