Had some time to kill this afternoon, so I hit the local Archlight. The movies with start times I needed were limited, so against my best judgment, I settled on “Resident Evil: Afterlife.” I was afraid it was another kiddie flick, and I was right. The opening shot sequence was brilliant. After that, it fell to pieces. It appears to be a fantasy designed to appeal to teenage girls with a Rambo complex. Or teenage boys who have the hots for teenage girls with a Rambo complex. I left after the first half hour or so. Couldn’t take any more. I was about to start laughing.
With some time left, I bought a ticket to “Takers.” I’m glad I did. This is the best cops and robbers flick since “Heat.” It’s similar in style, although “Takers” is amped up a bit. Great characters, great plot, and an outstanding use of cinema verite’. Not so little that it feels superficial and not so much that it makes you seasick. Just enough to make you feel like you’re actually in the middle of the action. Kudos to director John Luessenhop and DP Michael Barrett, for pulling it all together. I wasn’t just glued to my seat, I was riveted, and it was great to see all the Los Angeles locations.
The gunfight at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel may have been somewhat over the top, but by that time I was so carried away by the action that I no longer cared.
The critics on “Rotten Tomatoes” give it a 30% “fresh” rating. I couldn’t disagree more. I’d call it 80% fresh.
The folks over at IMDB call it “highly flawed but ultimately successful.” Now there’s some masterful double-talk.
If you liked “Heat,” you’ll probably love “Takers.” This is a heavy duty shoot em’ up action thriller. It is not a sensitive touchy-feely film for persons who may be on the passive aggressive side or those who are faint of heart.
Bottom line: This film is hugely underrated.