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Tension simmers in taut heist thriller

Part Heat, part Ocean's 11 (but more serious), Takers has slipped under the radar but deserves a wider audience.

It revolves around a crew of highly polished bank robbers.

Led by Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba), his partners in crime include John (Paul Walker), AJ (Hayden Christensen), and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse Attica (Chris Brown).

But their slick heists are put in jeopardy with the arrival back of newly released jailbird Ghost (TI).

Captured five years earlier when one of the gang's operations went wrong, he's got a chip on his shoulder -- and a suspicious-sounding plan to make them all rich with one big job.

But Ghost, who's suitably oily and snakey, says he has no hard feelings -- and offers the temptation of a $25m armoured car heist.

But the plan is dirty from the start, and soon no-nonsense cops, Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez), are hot on their trail.

Cornered after a chase, Jesse is forced to shoot Hatcher, and things turn worse when he reunites with the gang who are forced into a shootout with Russian gangster pals of Ghost.

And, like all good heist movies, it builds towards a bullet-filled climax, involving a plane, cops, gangsters and a wad of cash.

High on action, and classy sequences and dialogue, Takers is B-movie material with an A standard of acting.

Recommended.

DVD EXTRAS: Filmmaker and cast commentary, and a music video by actor/performer TI.