Michael Ealy

Bad Moviethon #6 – Takers


Takers | 2010 | IMDB

The force was with Hayden Christensen’s hat

Synopsis: Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba) and his friends enjoy a luxurious lifestyle funded by bank robberies, and they avoid capture by sticking to a strict set of rules. As they celebrate the latest job, a former associate arrives with a daring plan to rob an armored car. The lure of so much cash is too tempting to resist but, unbeknown to Gordon’s men, this heist puts them on a collision course with Russian mobsters and a detective (Matt Dillon) who will do anything to capture them
Rotten tomatoes score: 28%

Review excerpts:

It seems the writers thought the essentials of a heist film were a half-baked heist sequence and lots of gunfire. They seem to forget that if there’s not a good story and characters in place to carry those extra elements, none of them will matter.

Laughable subplots about Elba’s addicted sister (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and Dillon’s crooked partner (Jay Hernandez) only slow the action, which is all this movie has going for it.

~

This movie. This damn movie. The cast was good. Michael Ealy. Idris Elba. Hayden Christensen. Paul Walker (RIP). T.I. (okay so maybe good is an exaggeration, but still, most of them are decent actors). Chris Brown was also in this…Eh, well. Beggars can’t be choosers. He’s also down as executive producer. Welp.

Anyway, cast aside, the movie opens with the gang all happy as Larry. They’ve just pulled of a heist, woo!! Money, money, money. Conveniently, T.I. has just been released from jail. He was shot and caught during an older heist and he didn’t rat on them but he’s CLEARLY HOLDING A GRUDGE.

So what do these morons do? They listen to a tip he supposedly got from some Russians in jail. I mean, they’re suspicious but not the kind of suspicious warranted in a situation like this. It’s more ‘why is this seat warm?’ suspicious than ‘where’s my purse?’ suspicious. Goodness.

Anyway, subplots include

  • Idris Elba and his addict sister (Why? So we know why he needs the money? Who cares?)
  • T.I.’s character’s ex-girlfriend is now with one of the other members. She winds up dead.
  • There’s a cop who has his eye on them. He’s also a shitty Dad to his kid. Oh and his partner is corrupt.
  • Chris Brown’s character goes crazy (okay, technically he was running away from the police) and kills said corrupt cop

Anyway, the movie did have an impressive stunt where they steal the money. Let me see how Wikipedia describes it because apparently I was so wowed by the stunt that I don’t remember it.

…it is discovered that two trucks will travel together but that all the money is kept in the lead truck, which holds $12 million.

…Okay.

The crew, dressed as construction workers, hide out underground while Ghost poses as a police officer so he can keep an eye out for the trucks.

Sounds doable.

Meanwhile, in order to cover themselves in case Ghost is setting them up, John heads to the top of a nearby garage to take out Ghost with a sniper rifle in case things go sour.

Oh, really, you know what the best cover would have been? NOT LISTENING TO HIM AT ALL.

 The blast, having been perfectly timed to the time the trucks had turned the last corner, occurs too far forward because the lead driver had stopped short to avoid the bicyclist, and the ruse is up. The lead driver radios the police while armed guards pile out of the rear truck.

This was probably the most exciting scene of the movie. Mostly because it was so stupid.

It is now revealed that Ghost had previously cut a deal with the Russian gangsters to kill his former crewmates in exchange for half of the heist’s take. Ghost gives the Russians the hotel room number, then escapes out the bathroom window, just before the Russians storm the room and attempt to kill the crew.

Yes, he sold them out to the Russians and what ensues is the most ridiculous gunfight ever. The director wasn’t even going for realistic or even video game realism, it was just bad. 

Jake and Jesse return home where, to their horror, Jake finds Lilly’s lifeless body and Jesse finds the safe where they kept their secret stash of money opened and cleaned out. The police surround their home and shoot the two when they make a suicide charge outside.

Remember how I said Chris Brown’s character goes crazy and kills a cop? Yeah, that ends up in them running outside guns blazing while surrounded by the police. It’s the kind of thing that normally isn’t funny, but it was so ridiculous that you just had to laugh.

And after that there’s another gunfight at the airport because Ghost/T.I. is such a master conman that he wants to steal ALL of the group’s money. So he kills their fence (who just had the money in two large suitcases, seriously, what kind of fence is he?) but not before Idris Elba shows up and starts another unnecessarily drawn out battle, along with the cop who shows up because we needed an extra layer of drama. Somehow, Ghost dies, the cop gets shot, Idris gets shot and Paul Walker gets to save the day.

Everyone (besides those who died, which is….At least 80% of the characters) then lives happily ever after.

Rating: 5/10. It was bad but entertaining, so. Half marks from me! Yay!

I really want to watch Space Jam next but every time I say a specific movie it’s never watched. So, #7 is anybody’s guess.

How To Plot Twist Your Way Into WTFVille (as told by Secrets and Lies Season 2).


s-v

Let’s start with the nice stuff first.

1. Black cast!!! BLACK CAST!

This was awesome to see even though they were surrounded by a sea of whiteness.

2. Michael Ealy.

I love his face. I love his acting. That is all.

3. Eric Winter.

Yes. Yes. Herbal Essences Yes. He looked gooood. That’s all that that came to mind when he popped up because his character was a jerk.

4. Mekia Cox

Every time she’s on TV I know her character will be up to some crazy shit.

5. Peter Mills!!

Need I say anymore? 

6. Edwin Hodge

Small role but he’s adorable so whatever.

7. He will always be John Locke to me


Now onto the snark…

Secrets and Lies Season 2: How To Plot Twist Your Way Into WTFVille

1. Start with decent plot.

Newly married to the beautiful Kate and set to inherit leadership of his family’s profitable Charlotte, N.C., equity firm, well-educated and hard-working Eric Warner seems to have it all. Everything changes in an instant when, while attending a party to celebrate his father, John Warner, officially passing the reins of the business over to him, someone murders his wife. Enter brilliant and unflappable homicide detective Andrea Cornell, as she leaves no stone unturned in her quest to uncover what happened and bring justice to the victim.

2. Depress us less than they did during season 1

Kate is made out to be this perfect, pretty woman who lied constantly – but for a good reasons. In fact, she was so perfect and understanding that I was wondering just who would want to kill her. I think the writers also struggled with that question. Anyway, given that this season was about shiny, rich people and set in a sort of glamorous big corp environment it was mich more entertaining that the suburban feel of season 1. The experienced cast also helped here.

3. Make it predictable 

Predictable isn’t always a bad thing. Kate was perfect apart from the fact that she had a secret child. She had a secret iPad. She had a secret mother who wasn’t dead like she said she was. Everything they revealed about her was no surprise. Coupled with the bright whimsical flashbacks of her being the perfect wife, girlfriend and friend – she was sort of boring. The most interesting scene she had was falling off the roof of a building.

The usual suspects were the tight-knit family members. Eric, the dreamy husband. Neil, his philandering best friend. Patrick, Eric’s drunken younger brother. Liam, the fraudulent assistant. John Locke, the conniving father in law. And so forth. 

4. Add a whole bunch of random subplots 


Halfway through the season, the writers decided to give us some insight into the main character’s life. The question was did the audience suddenly want a diversion away from the main story? One minute we’re wondering who killed Kate and the next…we’re watching as Cornell’s alcoholic daughter relapses and also suddenly expected to care that her partner was shot at some kind of police house visit. It was kind of random. 

Also falling into the random column was the case of Danny, a cop introduced to the story to reinforce their Saint Kate theme. His daugher ran away from home shortly before his partner killed himself but not before leaving a note confessing to abusing Danny’s runaway daughter. Somehow he manages to find a picture of his daughter at the party Kate was at. He confronts Kate and she texts him on the night she dies when she sees his daughter at Eric’s party. 

Okay, that’s fine and all but…the link was so tenuous that I couldn’t understand why Danny was in every episode. Until he ended up being Danny Ex Machina. 

5. Build on the random subplots by adding even more ridiculous subplots. 

  • First, we find out that Patrick (drunken baby bro) has committed major fraud
  • Said fraud leads to him and his wife opening a whore house
  • VICE just happen to be monitoring said house
  • John Locke is a bigamist with a secret son that tried to blackmail his first son with wife #2
  • His first wife has cancer which is why he disappeared for half of the season
  • John Locke loses everything because he conveniently used wife #2’s money to build his company and he was never legally married to her.
  • Eric is the reason why his mother is in a coma – he pushed her downstairs. 
  • …but only because she was an alcoholic and somehow Patrick doesn’t remember this until he does (this wasn’t ridiculous but it was surrounded by ridiculousness)
  • Somewhere between that they manage to suspect that Kate’s son’s adopted mother killed her and we see the son and stepfather
  • Neil slept with Eric’s sister Amanda whose marriage broke down because she can’t have children — although this ended up counting in the end.
  • Danny’s daughter is found at another whore house and he gets a happy ending? Whee, I guess. 

6. Make the killer obvious but leave us in the dark regarding the motive

After the first episode, my money was on Amanda because they showed her sweating and popping pills. However she seemed genuinely distraught so I was thinking hmm, the reason must be something shocking like Kate having an affair! 

That was before the whole Saint Kate nonsense so by the end I had a bad feeling. We learn more about Amanda’s fertility than we do about her. She’s also a lawyer, so all of her animosity towards the police is to be expected. However the writers made it sort of obvious that it was her by:

  • Having her leave a cigarette butt right in front of the detective who is investigating her family for murder
  • Having her freely admit to dry cleaning the clothes she wore on the day of the murder – this was a lie but that any lawyer would claim to tamper with evidence is suspicious. 

And fair enough. It had to be somebody. However, in what has to be the most ridiculous twist, the police arrest Eric for Kate’s murder. And this is after a lot of talk in the crime lab about it “being the wrong jacket” and there being “skin cells from China” on the jacket. They then manage to match the blood at the crime scene to a mystery person but I was just thinking — we already know that a specific character gave you clean clothes! 

Anyway, so all of that nonsense aside, they essentially use some weird psychology to get Eric to remember who wasn’t at the party in the moment when Kate disappeared. We then see a flashback of everyone but Amanda. After some denials, she basically admits that she did it. 

The reason? Because Kate was pregnant. Yes, the heavily medicated infertile woman pushed another woman off a roof because she was jealous. 


And the ridiculousness doesn’t even end there because it turns out that Amanda isn’t infertile. She’s actually pregnant! 

I literally said to myself, “Fucking, really? Da fuck is this shit?”
It was just so stupid.

In the end she agrees to plead guilty but only if Eric agrees to look after her child. Neil has three ex-wives and a tendency to bail on people as evidenced by his no-show when he is meant to visit Amanda in prison. Eric walks out on her so we never know if he agrees to look after the kid. 

The show ends with Eric calling Kate’s son because, well. They wanted to end on a happy note after all of the fuckery.

Wait

The show decides to end with more fuckery. Cornell arrives home to find her daughter drunk/drugged up amd her gun missing. There’s a noise and then a gunshot rings out. 


Verdict: 7/10. Despite the silliness, I enjoyed it and it’s only ten episodes so I recommend it. Sort of.