Friday, August 27, 2010

Hayden Christensen & 'The Takers' Review

Hayden Christensen & 'The Takers' Review

Hayden Christensen is one of many famous faces that are hitting the silver screen tonight as 'The Takers' is set for premiere. Here's a review of the film from Amy Biancolli of The Houston Chronicle.


Someone has to say it, so I will: Shaky cam is out of control. After sitting through Takers with my stomach rearranged by hyperactive camera spazzing, I hereby formally request all directors and cinematographers to just get a grip already and STOP. WIGGLING. THE CAMERA.

I'm not insisting that no one should employ the wobbly hand-held approach under any circumstances, ever -- it has its place in documentaries, first-person horror and small Danish movies -- but I am suggesting rather vehemently that any filmmaker who considers going jiggly should first sit down and watch Fritz Lang's M, and then decide whether scrambling the audience's visual field is truly the best approach to telling a story. Even in an action movie. Especially in an action movie: Paul Greengrass, this means you. Maybe it's me, but I thought the point of watching fistfights, chases and shoot-outs was to actually see the fistfights, chases and shootouts. If I were only interested in hearing them, I'd sit in the theater with a bag over my head.


Take Takers. It's a mindless, hyper-stylized heist movie, but the mindlessness is inoffensive and the stylishness is slammin'. I count myself among the world's many film goers content to watch hip dudes make plans, wear suits and smirk, especially if there are explosives in the offing and a grinding dance beat underneath it. The dudes, in this case, are a gang of sleek L.A. robbers who do high-class, high-yield work and then retreat to a penthouse for drinks. They include Hayden Christensen in a porkpie hat; Idris Elba as an earnest English ringleader with a crackhead sister (Marianne Jean-Baptiste); Michael Ealy and Chris Brown (yep, that Chris Brown) as a pair of smart and dingbat brothers, respectively; and Paul Walker doing what he does best, namely, glaring with purpose.



When an old gang member played by Tip "T.I." Harris (yep, that T.I.) shows up, fresh out of prison, he wants them to jack an armored car carrying 25 or 30 million bucks. After a brief discussion of pros and cons, Elba's character arrives at this razor-sharp conclusion: "We're takers, gents. That's what we do for a living. We take." The movie thus consists of the gents making plans, and wearing suits, and smirking, all while a tough-guy copper sniffs around the edges. He's played by Matt Dillon, last seen boosting his very own truck in Armored.


When an old gang member played by Tip "T.I." Harris (yep, that T.I.) shows up, fresh out of prison, he wants them to jack an armored car carrying 25 or 30 million bucks. After a brief discussion of pros and cons, Elba's character arrives at this razor-sharp conclusion: "We're takers, gents. That's what we do for a living. We take." The movie thus consists of the gents making plans, and wearing suits, and smirking, all while a tough-guy copper sniffs around the edges. He's played by Matt Dillon, last seen boosting his very own truck in Armored.
 
When an old gang member played by Tip "T.I." Harris (yep, that T.I.) shows up, fresh out of prison, he wants them to jack an armored car carrying 25 or 30 million bucks. After a brief discussion of pros and cons, Elba's character arrives at this razor-sharp conclusion: "We're takers, gents. That's what we do for a living. We take." The movie thus consists of the gents making plans, and wearing suits, and smirking, all while a tough-guy copper sniffs around the edges. He's played by Matt Dillon, last seen boosting his very own truck in Armored.

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