The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Idris Elba, Matt Dillon, Micheal Ealy, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Jay Hernandez, Chris Brown, Tip T.I. Harris
Directed by: John Luessenhop
Music by: Paul Haslinger
Written by: Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, Avery Duff, John Luessenhop
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 18, 2011
"Who's taking who?"
This high-stakes action thriller stars Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy and Tip T.I. Harris. After pulling off a spectacular series of brilliantly planned bank robberies, a notorious team of professional criminals attempts one last heist, a once-in-a-lifetime job with a $25 million payoff. And all that stands in their way is a cop hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to solve the case and bring the TAKERS down. Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen costar in an adrenaline-rushed thrill ride packed with twists and turns.
I love a good heist flick and seeing the teaser for this film piqued my interest especially in light of its featured ensemble cast. This is a straight forward set piece that revolves around a crew of professional criminals who routinely pull off bank robberies. Their precise and methodical planning keeps them one step ahead of the law and nets them the kid of takes that enable them to lead luxurious lifestyles. After just completing their latest score (an LA bank job) they plan to lay low for awhile but reconsider when a former crew member, who was just released from prison, approaches them with a plan they can't refuse, an armored car takedown worth 20 + million dollars. The only caveat is that they only have five days to set up the plan. Since the LA bank robbery two zealous LA PD detectives have been searching for leads as to the identities of the crew involved but have come up empty. They catch a break while executing a search warrant on a group of Russian immigrants suspected of criminal activity which inadvertently provides a connection to a member of the crew. As the cops slowly begin to piece things together the crew puts their plan in place. Everything is set, the plan, the crew, and the target. The execution should go like clock work, a clean getaway where no one gets hurt. There is only one problemand it isn't what you think!
Takers isn't a bad film, unfortunately the been there and done that' essence runs high which makes it a predictable and less effective one. I like its slick and stylish characters, the depiction of their interpersonal relationships and the predominantly well executed action sequences which have the type of extravagant flair that makes films like this fun. The derivative nature of the plot is certainly tolerable but the script has some problems. It gets mired down in several melodramatic subplots that aren't fleshed out and only serve to derail focus. At 107 minutes it moves a little too quickly which can be problematic for a detail oriented film like this. More background on several of the characters, on both sides, would have gone a long way toward garnering a clearer perspective and connection to the events that take place later. I don't think that changes like these would have elevated this to the level of the better films it mirrors however it would probably make for a more cohesive narrative that could have taken better advantage of the talent among the cast. With the exception of Chris Brown and to a lesser extent Tip T.I. Harris I really enjoyed the cast in Takers. A film like this relies heavily on the charisma and thematic credibility of its cast and I thought that Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen, and Matt Dillon were strong choices. Jay Hernandez was fine but had minimal screen time and Zoe Saldana's role was so small she could have phoned it in. So is Takers this generation's Heat? No, but it's a fundamental and mildly entertaining film that genre fans might want to take a look at just the same.
The rating is for intense sequences of action and violence, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Takers comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
Sony has been very consistent in the quality of their high definition video presentations on Blu-ray Disc and this is no exception. This is a reference quality encoding that looks superb. It features a reserved chromatic palette which makes use of darker tones and muted primaries. This applies predominantly to interior and darker sequences as exterior shots tend to offer bolder use of color. The film's lighting/filtering kept fleshtones looking a bit flat and lacking in distinctiveness but this was in line with its stylized aesthetic. Contrast and brightness are nicely balanced and blacks are deep and punchy without compromise to fidelity. Discerning detail in low lighting and shadowy backgrounds reveals subtle gradations which enhances depth of field. Images onscreen are characterized by intricate and transparent imagery that has three dimensionality and definitive resolution. Wide angle shots have strong dimension and exhibit crisp refinement that is rarely questionable. I didn't notice any signs of compression or video related artifacts. I thought that the creative choices made regarding the visual style of this film were right on target. It looked absolutely stunning.
This Lossless DTS-HD MA surround mix accents the video presentation and makes regular use of the entire system to drive the film's elements.. This is a well balanced and active soundtrack that features pulsating low frequencies that reaches far into the room to augment the dynamic impact associated with the films action based elements and music score. The surround channels are actively engaged with a blend of discretely placed sounds and spatial ambience that fills the room. Dynamic range is extended and visceral at times when combined with the high level of sonic detail present in the recording. I never had any trouble discerning subtle vocal inflections or the presence of low level sounds that were contained in the background. The mix facilitates seamless integration of the front and rear channels which creates a stable and well proportioned listening experience that is complimented by rich, room resonating bass that has excellent palpability and tight extension.
- Commentary with director John Luessenhop and producers Jason Geter and Tip T.I. Harris
- (HD) Executing the heist: The making of Takers - 11 minute featurette
- (HD) Take action - 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Yeah ya know (Takers) by T.I. - music promo
- Movie IQ
Takers is a mildly entertaining but ultimately forgettable heist flick that will probably appeal more to casual genre fans. It would be untrue if I said that I disliked it but its weaknesses outweigh its strengths which leaves it feeling just average. While the film doesn't inspire the high definition presentation on Blu-ray from Sony is a knockout with its reference quality video and engaging DTS-HD MA lossless surround sound. The bonus features offer a brief but well rounded look at the production which includes behind the scenes footage and cast/crew interviews. If you're a genre fan give it is easily worth a rental so toss it in your queue.
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