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Movie Review

Takers also known as “Bone Deep,” “Ladrones,” “Preneurs,” “Налетчики”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language.

Reviewed by: Eric Bell
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Suspense Thriller Drama
Length:
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
August 27, 2010 (wide—2,000+ theaters)
DVD: January 18, 2011
Featuring: Paul Walker … John Rahway
Hayden Christensen … A.J.
Idris Elba … Gordon Jennings
Zoe Saldana
Matt Dillon … Det. Jack Welles
Johnathon Schaech
Michael Ealy … Jake Attica
more »
Director: John Luessenhop
Producer: Screen Gems, Rainforest Films, Grand Hustle Entertainment (as Grand Hustle Films), Overbrook Entertainment, Chris Brown, more »
Distributor: Screen Gems

“Everyone’s after something”

“Takers” is a fast-action, adrenalin-laden story of articulate bank robbers, automatic weapons and what can inevitably go wrong in the business of crime. While not the deepest of story lines nor the most well choreographed script, the writer certainly tried to put together a thoughtful and challenging story. Straying (slightly) from the typical overuse of skin, guns and booze, director John Luessenhop at least takes a stab at developing relationships within the crooks, weaving hidden agendas and building a somewhat shocking surprise ending.

Don’t get me wrong. There was plenty of gun fire and bar scenes, but they weren’t relied upon to totally carry the show. Viewers who are used to this genre will find it follows the typical plot of most, but might be refreshed hear fewer cuss words and see less blood as say “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Public Enemies” or “Heat.”

There were definitely moments where I thought, I’ve been here before. But, I suppose after the 50th Hollywood bank robber movie, it’s a little difficult to find completely fresh plots and one liners. There were some areas that I thought were somewhat memorable and deserve a bit of recognition. The introductory bank robbery, while, of course, morally wrong, scary for the victims and full of brashness and fury, did not leave any casualties behind and had several cool moments of thoughtful plot twists and intriguing gotchas. Another chase scene was particularly well choreographed and left me in awe of the gymnastic capabilities of the runner. Probably a little overdone and farfetched, yet they didn’t rely on any CGI, so I have to give them a little nod.

There are all kinds of viewers that I would recommend not see this genre of movie. “Takers” is no exception. While very conservative in using the F-word (one instance), they really made heavy use of the word s**t (more than 40). They also mixed in just about every other word you can think of, although generally in a realistic manner, rather than a carefully planned vomiting of foul language (a**hole, bit**, bulls**t, hell, bast**d, b**ls, etc.) Of course, way beyond that was the use of the Lord’s name as a cuss word. Several times (G-d*mn—11, Jesus Christ—1, Jeez—1, Oh G*d—1). One wonders why that has to occur, when they could easily avoid it. But there it was, and it will ruin it for many who cannot stand to hear the Lord offended personally.

No sex scenes, to speak of, although a little kissing by one of the main characters with his only squeeze. Couple of head turners though. One was in a job shack where a contractor of some sort was sitting at his desk. Behind him were pin ups of women with really no clothes to speak of. You might miss it the first time, but they keep panning over it to make sure you don’t. The other problem was a brief and highly unnecessary swimming pool scene. The main character is seen entering a pool at night. For just a moment, you get a glimpse of his naked back side as he enters in with two females who are undoubtedly naked as well, although mostly hidden in the water. Just not necessary and takes the mind to places it would be better not to go. Several other brief issues with girls walking the streets in scanty clothing and in provocative situations. Certainly enough to offend, and yet kept fairly conservative when compared to other PG-13 types of movies with similar story lines.

There are aouple of moral issues to ponder and draw some attention to. The main police detective is obviously in the midst of struggling with a damaged relationship. We presume he and his wife are separated. His daughter is suffering through this and continues to do so throughout the movie. Even after it is revealed that this apparent damage is a result of misplaced emphasis on his work, it takes his best friend to bring it to his attention. No resolution is ever made about this neglect towards his wife and child, and so we are left with a sadness at the obvious transgression. The best friend, as well, is struggling with his own moral dilemma. It ends up making him as guilty as the bank robbers he is tracking. In the end, he lays his own life down for his family in a vain attempt at doing the right thing. Too bad he relies on himself, rather than standing empty at the foot of the cross and experiencing healing there. To me, the obvious conclusion is that “goodness” has no good in it without the example of our Savior and the salvation that solely comes from Him.

While I dredged a few thoughts of my Lord and Savior out of this movie, it is in no way intended to take us anywhere near the cross. I would caution many that this will sadden you in a negative way and will leave you with the pool scene stuck in your head and a repertoire of foul language. For those who look forward to this sort of movie (action, bank robbers), you will find it not quite as voluminous in its use of skin, booze, blood and foul language. Sort of disappointing that this makes it a “better” action movie, but somehow it does in today’s comparison.

Violence: Heavy to Extreme / Profanity: Moderate to Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Wow, this movie was awesome. I didn’t watch it for a while, because I heard how much cursing there was in it, but there was literally only about 6 cuss words and no nudity, only one scene where some guy was in a pool with some chicks. There was not sexual parts and hardly any cursing. The suspense was intriguing, the violence was intense, the acting was awesome, and the filming was awesome. This was way better of a movie then I thought it would be. Sure, I don’t care for the robbing of banks and the crime, but the movie was really good and was pretty clean, aside from the violence. Great action.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Samantha, age 36 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I love heist movies, probably because my father loved them too and used to take me to movies like “The Italian Job” (69) and others. Of course, movies today have a lot more foul language and skin than in days gone, and there’s some of that in “Takers” but, the essential elements of high-octane crime drama and the guilty pleasure of rooting for the bad guys were all good. And, there wasn’t the kind of random boobage that forces my fast-forward remote button to wear out like a lot of action flicks these days. The action was engrossing amidst scenes with this more cerebral team of criminals that epitomized the phrase “master minds,” and certainly I enjoyed the one shoot-out scene that purposefully muted the gunfire to direct the viewer’s attention toward the plight of each participant in the gun-battle; equally enjoyable was the foot chase where real elements of “Parkour” replaced some of the usual CGI so overdone these days.

Though, this movie isn’t in the same league as the chase scene in “Quantum of Solace,” nor is there the tighter directing of another heist movie, “The Town.” It is fairly fast paced, if a little jittery.

“Takers” is a good name with criminals taking what isn’t theirs, the police doing some harsh take-downs, one unforgiving criminal who wants to take everything, and a police officer on the take (due to medical debt). Well, theft, unforgiveness and murder are all sins. I did like the addition a criminal’s mother who was a rehab patient complicating the life of the lead mastermind because in this world of sin life gets complicated with so much joy and peace taken away without the hope of Christ in one’s life.

Of note, each of the main characters were very capable both with self-defense, gun-play, and either at eluding the law or conversely, chasing down the bad guys. Each a man’s man. Scott Foley of “The Unit” fame definitely is a cool customer—a man in control. Well, crime doesn’t pay in the end—judgment eventually comes to all. No man controls that end. Only the man-God, Jesus.

It is nice to suspend that reality (just briefly, okay) and take in a fun heist flick like “Takers;” just remember it’s directed with a secular world-view and some of the language will surely offend as it both glorifies criminal activity and advocates taking whatever you want in life. Guilty as charged.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Doug Lloyd, age 52 (Canada)
Comments from non-viewers
—I have not seen this movie and do not plan to. I love fast paced, exciting, action movies, but I detest foul language. The reviewer said the movie might be ruined for many who cannot stand to hear the Lord offended, personally. How many of you Christians out there enjoy hearing the Lord offended personally? Do you really suppose God thinks it is a wise use of the money he has blessed us with to spend it on movies that use his name a curse word? We are supposed to be light to the world, showing the way to Jesus, not following the lost world to wallow in the pig pen. We are supposed to be salt to the world. Salt is a preservative which is used to prevent decay. How can we be salt to the world when we jump right in the rotten filth along with the unsaved world.

The holy name of Jesus is the name above every name, and one day everyone, including those who now blaspheme his name by using it as a curse word, will bow at the name of Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Christians quit living like the world and follow Jesus.
—Beth, age 60 (USA)