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Four Things That Make Us Wish <i>Takers</i> Had Come Out Sooner

It's a shame that Takers was delayed as much as it was. Maybe if it had come out a few years ago, like it was supposed to, it wouldn't have been preposterously compared to The Expendables, the movie it's supposed to knock out of the number-one spot this weekend. But director John Luessenhop's (Lockdown) son got sick five years ago, and cast members Tyrese Gibson and Terrence Howard moved on to other things, and once the producers finally pulled everything together and made the movie, rapper and star T.I. was arrested on weapons charges, pushing back the release date. (The arrest of co-star Chris Brown may have further delayed it.) So now we've got a movie with the smell of age on it, and the sharks are in the water. But, while it's not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, it has some great moments, and is a lot better than I thought it would be. Here are just a few of the things that make this bare-bones heist movie worth seeing.

1. Bad Actors, Great Action
Paul Walker. Hayden Christensen. Chris Brown. None of these guys are known for their stellar acting ability. In fact, I would call Christensen's performances in the Star Wars prequels some of the worst acting of all time. None of them do much to change that perception in this movie with their words, but Luessenhop makes up for it with their actions. Christensen has a fight scene against three Russians in a confined trailer that is more exciting than any lightsaber battle he was ever in, and Walker is at his most bad-ass when he's wordlessly walking up to people and either punching them or shooting them. And Chris Brown puts his dancing ability to good use in a parkour-infused foot chase through the streets and buildings of L.A. that gives the opening chase scene of Casino Royale a run for its money, no pun intended.

2. Nobody's Perfect In It
There are certain characters that you go through the film knowing very little about, but the ones that we do get to know lead... interesting lives. Idris Elba's character has a drug addict sister who's about to be released from rehab; Christensen's planner and tech guy carries the hints of a highbrow former life very different from the one he leads; and the cop played by Matt Dillon has been left by his wife, rarely sees his daughter, is being brought up on excessive force charges and may be drinking himself to death. And if any of that sounds clich├ęd -- and as we write it out, it does to us, too -- Luessenhop manages to spend just enough time on it to make it seem like a footnote, at most a nuisance, rather than an aspect of their being that dogs their every action.

3. It's Serious, But Not Too Serious
Another film people are comparing Takers to is Heat, and while the superficialities are very similar, Takers at least seems to know that it is not that movie. T.I. is a suspicious character from the moment he re-enters the gang's lives, but his commentary on the lives they now lead, their suspicions and his own trustworthiness is occasionally very funny. And while the big heist they plan may seem familiar, they at least have the balls to say that they're gonna go "Italian Job" on it, making it an homage and not a rip-off. Even when they're walking away from an exploding helicopter and getting into their different luxury vehicles to complete a getaway, you half-wonder if they're doing it ironically.

4. Zoe Saldana Is In It For, Like, Five Seconds
But she's pretty good in those few seconds. So while you shouldn't go see it for her, it's fun to see her there. Plus, it's kind of like a miniature Losers reunion for her and Elba, although they probably shot this film first.

Did you see Takers? Let us know what you thought below, then see the cast's most criminally bad roles.

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