Film On DVD: 'Takers' [Blu-Ray]
Starting Tuesday, you can bring the heist flick Takers home on DVD and Blu-Ray courtesy of Sony Home Entertainment. What's inside for the taking? I open up the Blu-Ray version to help you find out!
Takers could have been a really great, great movie. Any film that's led by Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba (Luther) is going to have at least one good performance, but adding in Paul Walker (Fast & Furious) and Michael Ealy (FlashForward) had me waiting for this one with bated breath. I couldn't wait to see it...
...and I couldn't believe I'd waited so long for it when it was over.
Although it does have an impressive cast, Takers is a movie that's more concerned with looking cool than having any particular substance. It completely wastes the acting talents of everyone involved, simply because there's really not a lot of acting involved. If you can shoot, run around, and posture, you can get by just fine. (Chris Brown and T.I., not primarily actors, acquit themselves well enough, all things considered, especially Brown, who is asked to perform one of the film's more impressive stunt sequences.) It's a pretty generic heist movie, except there's a lot more explosions and gunfire to be had, including a massive, head-spinning shootout near the conclusion. There are a pair of twists included, but if you've seen enough of these types of movies, you can guess them pretty early on. It's just an unremarkable film all around.
That wouldn't necessarily bother me, as I love a good popcorn flick, especially with explosions. What pushes Takers over the line into unbearable territory is that director John Luessenhop is of the belief moving the camera around a lot makes things look even cooler. He moves the camera around a lot, and also enjoys quick cuts, so much that there were some scenes where I couldn't tell what was going on because of the direction. By the movie's end, I actually had motion sickness because there had been so much jarring camera movement.
This movie is a classic case of looking pretty but not having much on the inside. It would be a simple flop, if only it didn't have such a great cast. To not utilize their talents makes it even more of a disappointment, as such a waste is, pardon the pun, criminal.
The Blu-Ray Discs
The Blu-Ray box art resembles the film's poster, and it looks pretty cool. As this is a Blu-Ray release, there aren't any package issues to worry about.
Takers gets a reliable transfer; the strange color tints are part of the film and not a transfer defect. Dark colors come through strong, and there are a lot of them. Audio is understandable enough, though dialogue sounds softer than it is because it's contrasted against the loud soundtrack. This is a pretty good transfer; it's not the best I've ever seen, but it's better than what I remember from the theatrical release, down to being able to make out potholes in the street.
Specs-wise, this is a 2:40:1 widescreen HD transfer (even the special features are in HD), with audio tracks in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and subtitles in the same four languages. The special features only have English audio and English, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
The Special Features
There's not really much here compared to other releases. There's a "filmmaker and cast commentary," on which the only cast member is T.I. That was a letdown for me, as I was hoping to hear from some of the actors I went to the film to see.
The making-of featurette largely consists of the crew talking about how great and how cool all the actors are. After the third time either of those words gets dropped, it starts to sound disingenuous, not to mention boring. There's more talking from the crew than any of the actors, who try to go into greater detail but are also mostly just cheerleading. There are major spoilers in this as well, so don't watch it if you haven't seen the entire film first.
There's one other piece, "Take Action!", which looks at stunts specifically, and while it's interesting, it's not particularly memorable either - the kind of thing that you watch once, say "Oh, that was neat" and promptly forget about it. There's also a T.I. music video, which is nice if you're a fan of his music but isn't the kind of music video I'd watch more than once. Honestly, I think the song from the trailer ("The Mountain Movement" by Sharp Skills) works better than this piece.
If you're going to buy this movie at all, though, go for the Blu-Ray. Almost all these special features - except for the music video and the commentary - are Blu-Ray exclusive.
The Bottom Line
It's a so-so movie with so-so special features. It's not a bad choice for a movie night rental, but I'd only advise buying it if you're a fan of one of the actors involved and absolutely have to add it to your collection of their work.