'Takers': Like 'Entourage' But With More Violence?

Critics see similarities between the suave crooks and Vince's gang

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Cobbling together a ragtag team of rising B-listers, fading A-listers and rapper T.I., Takers is the grab-bag movie of the late summer dog days. The caper flick, which modeled itself after the Oceans franchise and Michael Mann's Heat, also features Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen and Chris Brown as an apparently "Entourage-ian" group of guys hankering to pull off the proverbial "last big heist" before they take the money and slink away to sunnier shores. Critics, for their part, seem to be more concerned with how the group measures up to Vince, Ari and the gang.

  • It's Like a 'Homicidal Entourage,' for a brief moment anyway, until it settles into a caper-groove forged by better films such as Heat and Oceans 11, notes John Anderson at The Washington Post. While Takers assembles "suave, handsome, vaguely funny and chronically dysfunctional criminals" the director "shoots too closely; he's practically crawling up his characters' nostrils with his unhinged camera." The film also lays on the melodrama on top of its simplistic storyline.
  • An Unusually Action-Packed Episode of Entourage writes Brian Lowry at Variety. It's "graced with ample style if not substance" and generally maintains a "crisp pace," though most of the dialogue falls flat. The film's flaws "should limit appeal to a young male, predominantly urban audience looking for some modest late-summer mayhem."
  • It's More Like GQ Jr. or Esquire for Kids  ventures New York Time's critic A.O. Scott. The film is "a primer in juvenile, aspirational cool for guys who might not be able to handle the suavity of the 'Oceans 11' franchise or the leathery angst of 'The Expendables.'" The actors appear to have more cachet than the characters they're playing, especially the "almost-talented" Chris Brown the Paul "white man with the furrowed brow" Walker and "silly skinny-brimmed hat" wearing Hayden Christensen.
  • It Goes Down Smooth and Easy  like "a tall, refreshing, ice-cool chaser to a long, mostly dry summer movie season," writes (parched?) Miami Herald reviewer Rene Rodriguez. Despite a well-tread genre and an "ensemble cast of actors you never imagined would ever appear in the same movie" the film manages an ending "which you won't be able to guess no matter how many crime pictures you've seen."
  • The Film Has a Lack of Snark that surprisingly turns out to be a positive for The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips. He writes: "it offers only a modicum of the facetious brutality littering a Guy Ritchie crime picture such as 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.'" By contrast, Takers is "an unpretentious time-waster."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.