Takers

August 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Tip “T.I.” Harris
Directed by: John Luessenhop (“Lockdown”)
Written by: John Luessenhop (debut), Gabriel Casseus (debut), Avery Duff (debut), Peter Allen (“Klash”),

There are only so many things you can do with a screenplay as unoriginal as “Takers.” You can either compare it to better heist movies that have come before it or you can save your breath and take it for what it is: a generic, one-dimensional collection of cocky, GQ-fashionable stars running around with nothing meaningful to say or do.

In “Takers,” a group of professional thieves (Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen, and Chris Brown) team up with Ghost (Tip “T.I.” Harris), a former member of their crew who was recently released from prison after being the only one to get arrested during the boys’ last run together six years prior.

Now out of prison, Ghost wants to steal $30 million from an armored truck and feel his old friends owe it to him to join up for another heist. Although some of the men don’t trust Ghost, their leader Gordon Jennings (Elba) accepts the proposal since Ghost never took a plea bargain and ratted any of them out when he was in the joint.

On the other side of the law are LAPD’s finest, officers Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez) who are hot on the trail of the “takers,” but have problems of their own to deal with as well. Like the criminals they’re after, neither of the boys in blue have much personality aside from a typical law-enforcement temperament.

Besides a few well-shot action sequences (this doesn’t include a pretentious shoot-out scene played over symphony music), “Takers” is not engaging unless you’re entertained by big-budget pissing contests. The testosterone and fashion might be at an all time high, but when you’ve seen one slow-motion strut in an Armani suit you’ve basically seen them all.

Armored

December 9, 2009 by  
Filed under CineStrays

Starring: Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Columbus Short
Directed by: Nimrod Antal (“Vacancy”)
Written by: James V. Simpson (debut)

There’s not much to Nimrod Antal’s predictable heist flick “Armored” that makes for an interesting story. The film follows a team of armored truck security guards who plan to steal $42 million from their own company. Matt Dillon stars as Mike, the brains behind the plan. Columbus Short plays Ty, a rookie guard who contributes to the crime so he can take care of his troubled young brother financially. “We’re not going to let the bank take your house,” Mike tells Ty. Unoriginal enough for you? When the plan backfires, things get messy. First-time screenwriter James V. Simpson supplies a script with few surprises and little tension to a story that should have been lathered in gritty moments.