"Takers" takes the low road. It's not smart enough to be among the cream of the crop, but it's exciting enough to deserve a chance. Some better casting and writing could have helped this movie be remembered a year from now. The story follows a hip group of young up-and-comers who pull of bank heists once a year. It might not seem like much, but they earn enough to keep their life of luxury intact. After one such bold and successful heist, they are offered another job by a former partner, who was just released from prison. The reason he was in prison was because they left him behind, so you could see how there might be some hard feelings involved. Reluctant at first, they eventually accept and begin to plan an armored car heist. Hot on their trails is a cop played by Matt Dillon.
There's a lot of enthusiasm in the way "Takers" plays out. There are some thrilling action set-pieces. The heist itself is pretty spectacular and the firefights would make John Woo proud. Unfortunately that's not nearly enough to make this pass as a superior heist movie. The dialogue is painfully banal, the plot is predictable and cliched, and the actors seem to be on auto-pilot. Some of them are pretty decent, like Matt Dillon or Idris Elba and Paul Walker is by now an experienced actor when it comes to action movies. Zoe Saldana also makes an appearance. But nothing really clicks, and the chemistry between the actors just isn't there. It's an ensemble movie, but the ensemble dynamics are flawed. That's a major setback.
Enthusiastic as he may have been, director John Luessenhop couldn't quite make all the pieces fit in the right way. The good and the bad almost cancel each other out in this movie, but it's still entertaining if you don't give the by-the-numbers plot too much thought. Just turn off your brain and enjoy this average heist movie.