John Rahway (Paul Walker), Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba), A.J. (Hayden Christensen) and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) Attica are a well organized gang of bank robbers who after pulling off each heist return to their lives of luxury whilst planning the next job. And the next job is going to be the last as they go after the big one thanks to Ghost (Tip T.I. Harris) who having just done time gets in touch with his former friends about an armoured vehicle carrying $20 million. But can their meticulous planning be enough to deal with detective Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) who is hell bent on bringing them down and do they need to be wary of someone else.
Ah yes the one last job, the final heist which will set up a bunch of likeable criminals for life! I have lost track of the number of heist movies which use the one last job storyline and strip away who the actors are and the movie's style and "Takers" is a typical one last heist movie where things don't go completely smoothly and the cops lead by one obsessed detective is on their trail. But thankfully this familiar set up is embellished with the addition of the former gang member which adds an extra angle to the mix to make this more than just the standard trio of planning the heist, pulling off the heist and of course staying ahead of the law.
But in a strange way I don't think the storyline was high on the agenda of importance when it came to "Takers" as I can't remember the last time I saw this many handsome, popular actors in one movie. From Paul Walker to Idris Elba as well as Matt Dillon it would be fair to say the cast has its lookers who will attract a wide crowd. That isn't to say they don't play their parts well but no one has the charisma of say a Danny Ocean and so they all end up forgettable. In fact the characters are so under written I had to go looking for their names for this review as I didn't remember a single one of them.
What this means is that "Takers" trades heavily on that visual appeal of these hunky actors either looking smooth in their flashy suits or in some cases tight shirts doing the sort of action which is intentionally just on the wrong side of realism. It means that we can be engrossed by the mechanics of the heist and then entertained by the elaborate way that these guys get away with it. And because these guys look good and get away with things we end up liking these criminals, yes another movie where we end up championing criminals.
What this all boils down to is that "Takers" is a stylish heist movie with an appealing cast and some slick action. But with the exception of one twist it is another one last job heist movie and one which suffers because of the intentionally jittery camera work which aims to feel raw and alive but only ends up feeling manufactured.