Denzel Washington

Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is threatened at knife-point by his cruel master (Michael Fassbender) in “12 Years a Slave.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

As Black History Month draws to a close, The Daily Texan compiled a list of notable films that commemorate black history from a variety of perspectives — and offer important lessons for the future.

The Color Purple

“The Color Purple,” directed by Steven Spielberg, is an emotional drama that features an incredible debut performance from Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg plays Celie, an African-American woman abused by her cruel and much older husband (Danny Glover). Following the course of Celie’s life, “The Color Purple” explores the intersection of oppression of women and black people in the early 1900s.  

“The Color Purple” provides a compelling view of African-American hardship from a female perspective and affirms that familial bonds transcend both distance and time. 

12 Years a Slave

“12 Years a Slave” tells the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. 

“12 Years” benefits from Ejiofor’s soulful performance and Michael Fassbender’s ruthless portrayal as Solomon’s tyrannical master. Directed by Steve McQueen, “12 Years” doesn’t shy away from discomforting images of violence, forcing the audience to confront the
slaves’ suffering. 

“12 Years” is not only a fantastic historical film, but also a resonant, emotional masterpiece.

42

“42” is a well-made tribute to legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), who broke the baseball color barrier in 1947 by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African- American in Major League Baseball. The charismatic Boseman grasps audiences’ attention from the get-go and effortlessly carries the rest of the film. Harrison Ford and Nicole Beharie also appear in memorable supporting roles. 

Director Brian Helgeland recreates Robinson’s struggles against racist baseball players and fans with scenes where Robinson endures racial slurs and physical assaults. Robinson learns that playing well is the most effective method of silencing his attackers.

“42” teaches lessons in resilience and grace under fire.

The Great Debaters

Denzel Washington directs and stars in “The Great Debaters,” a film about black college debate students in the 1930s Jim Crow South. Washington plays the team’s coach, poet Melvin B. Tolson, who leads them to become some of the best debaters in the nation. 

While the film is geared toward a younger audience, it does not shy away from dark moments. In one scene, Tolson and his students stumble upon the lynching of a black man. The debaters’ journey is fraught with peril, which makes their success all the more inspiring.

“The Great Debaters” imparts that educating future generations is one critical element in the fight eradicate racism.

Malcolm X

Director Spike Lee does Malcolm X’s life justice in this moving biopic. Denzel Washington’s performance as a titular character is natural and honest. The film focuses on how Malcolm X dealt with family, friends and his Muslim faith, while illustrating how these forces transformed him from a misguided criminal into a forceful civil rights activist. 

Lee works hard to place the audience in Malcolm X’s shoes and helps the audience understand X’s mind-set.

Director/producer Ben Affleck accepts the award for best picture for "Argo" during theOscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Photo Credit: AP Exchange | Daily Texan Staff

This live blog was written during the 2013 Academy Awards.  It is a live, slightly snarky feed of everything that happened and did not happen at this year's Academy Awards. 

11:01 In the most annoying way possible, the 2013 Academy Awards end with the ever grating Kristin Chenoweth and Seth MacFarlane. They sing some horrible song which reminds us only of how horrible things were before they started awarding the good statues. 

10:54 The Oscar for BEST MOTION PICTURE is awarded to ARGO presented by Michelle Obama. These producers are all strange men who don't know where to stand. Oh, except best beard George Clooney who's looking great.  Ben also has a beard. He could be nominated. He makes Jennifer Garner cry, and all of us cry, and even himself cry a little. 

10:52 Jack Nicholson announces Michelle Obama on screen from the White House. Rocking her bangs and a beautiful silver dress, Michelle deserves this honor. She should probably win. She plugs how important arts are to our country, and she is right.

10:45 Meryl Streep arrives in a very sparkly dress to present the award for BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE. The Oscar goes to Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln over Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables, Joaquin Phoenix in The Master, Denzel Washington in Flight.  He is the first actor to win three Oscars in the BEST ACTOR category. There is a standing ovation, and he looks so happy he almost looks miserable. Unlike our girl Lawrence, Day Lewis has his speech together. He thanks Abraham Lincoln.

10:40 The Oscar for BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE goes to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook over Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Emmanuelle Rivera for Amour, Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Naomi Watts for the Impossible. She almost falls in her hurry up the stairs and receives a standing ovation. "This is nuts," she says, and nuts it is. Every Oscar pool is ruined by this point. Jennifer Larence looks incredible, Bradley Cooper looks so proud. Lawrence is totally scattered and has no speech. She was obviously not expecting that. 

10:32 Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas arrive to present the Oscar for BEST DIRECTOR to Ang Lee for LIFE OF PI for their FOURTH Oscar of the night. Lee thanks the movie god and thanks the 3,000 people who worked with him on Life of Pi. 

10:26 BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY is awarded to Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. Tarantino is a total bozo. He's rambling about character choosing, and calling himself awesome for his casting choices. He "peace out"s the audience.

10:22 Seth. Please stop. Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron arrive with a massive height disparity to present the award for BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY goes to Argo by Chris Terrio.  He apparently sprinted to the stage. What is this bad situation? Can you tell us that story? 

10:08 The cast of Chicago appears on stage to present the Oscar for BEST MOVIE SCORE to Life of Pi. Richard Gere makes a joke. It's funnier than anything MacFarland has said. Which is to say, marginally funny. Life of Pi is sweeping up Oscars. Norah Jones arrives on stage she looks nothing like herself. Is she even famous anymore? The Oscar for BEST ORIGINAL SONG goes to Skyfall by Adele who apparently has a last name. It is her first Academy Award. She cries immediately. Some other bro is there. He did something. He does not cry. 

10:01 Another not Beyonce arrives, this time in the form of Barbara Streisand. She receives a standing ovation. Take that Adele.

9:57 Beard number 1 aka George Clooney arrives for "In Memoriam." He says we could dedicate an entire show to it, you know, a show that NO ONE would watch. 

9:50 Selma Hayek looks like she tried to dress up as Cleopatra for a sorority Halloween party. They recap some Governor's Awards, which goes to people who love movies and have done great things for film. No one explains why they are called "Governor's."

9:48 Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart arrive on stage. Fittingly, the Harry Potter music plays. Stewart looks like she walked through some brush backstage and got her hair sucked into a whirlpool. They present the Oscar for PRODUCTION DESIGN to Lincoln. Christoph returns to the screen from earlier, and we still love him. 

9:43 Nicole Kidman shows us the next three Best Picture nominees with Silver Lining Playbook, Django Unchained, and Amour. Despite Argo's editing win and thus my prediction for best picture, Silver Lining Playbook was by far my favorite of the nominations. 

9:35 Jennifer Lawrence introduces Adele to sing "Skyfall." Adele looks like the sky fell onto her dress. There is no standing ovation for Adele. She is the first singing number to not receive one. The COLD SHOULDER award goes to Adele.

9:32 Sandra Bullock presents the award for FILM EDITING goes to William Goldenberg for Argo

9:29 The Academy Preseident takes the stage and explains a future Oscar museum. It will be the "first of it's kind." It sounds like a museum. REPRESENT. Jennifer Brofer of UT AUSTIN is on the stage!

9:23 Anne Hathaway thanks everyone and bows to her competitors. She is--as she has been since her transformation into Princess Mia--eloquent, elegent, and beautiful. She thanks her husband, who is teary. Who knew Anne Hathaway had a husband!? 

9:20 MacFarlane tries to convince us the Von Trapps are coming. His jokes are all bad. I am not laughing. Christopher Plummer joins us on stage. People laugh at his jokes. He says he has 30 films coming and we are ready for all of them. He presents the Oscar for BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE. It goes to Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables over Amy Adams for the Master, Sally Field for Lincoln, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, and Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook. 

9:17 The JAWS wrap it up music is old. 

9:09 Facial hair is really back. Everyone is bearded. Beards, beards, beards, beards, beards. There is some learning going on now which is kind of a bummer, but not as much of a bummer as MacFarlane. Mark Wahlberg comes to the stage with some bear that was in a movie that no one saw. The Oscar for BEST SOUND MIXING goes to Les Miserables. The Oscar for SOUND EDITING  is a tie. WHAT? Is this soccer!? This is art. Can't we just be judgement about these subjective things.  The first goes to Zero Dark Thirty and the second goes to Skyfall.

9:01 The musical tribute moves to Les Mis. Hugh Jackman's voice is still not good enough for this role. Also, facial hair, facial hair everywhere. Anne Hathaway is beautiful. Her lip quivers with "One Day More." Samantha Barkman looks like she could be the American Kate Middleton. The entire cast of Les Mis is on stage, and they look just as upset as they did in the movie. French flags drop from the ceiling. They receive the second standing ovation of the night. 

9:00 Still "not Beyonce" continues to sing. Girl's got pipes, but no Blue Ivy. 

8:53 John Travolta lists 1,000 names for a tribute to great musicals. He mispronounces Catherine Zeta Jones's name, but it doesn't matter because she's on stage, and she looks awesome.  No one knows why someone who is NOT BEYONCE is singing the Dreamgirls tribute. Where is Beyonce? Where is she? 

8:49 Seth MacFarlane compares the Oscars to church, which is maybe possible since he's offending everyone. Jennifer Garner is wearing all the diamonds. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM goes to AMOUR which is unsurprising because, I don't know, they're nominated for best picture. He thanks his wife and its adorable. 

8:42 Ben Affleck is bringing facial hair back. The Oscar for BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE goes to Searching for Sugarman by two men whose names were not on the screen for long enough for me to figure out how to spell them. The JAWS theme song returns, and they leave. 

8:37 Liam Neeson gives us three more previews for best picture with Argo,  Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty. Liam Neeson could have probably also played Lincoln. 

8:32 Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx arrive to present BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM to Curfew by Sean Christensen. He notes his short time window, salutes someone, thanks his "devishly handsom father," and leaves. The Oscar for BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT goes to Inocente by Shaun Fine and Andrea Nix Fine. They talk about supporting the arts and the music plays even though Amy Adams eyes are welling and we all love her so much. 

8:21 Hallie Berry appears to celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond in motion pictures. There is, of course, a play by play of Bond girls in bikinis, some explosions, some car chases, and more Bond girls. Some lady appears dressed like an Oscar statue to sing about Bond. My guess is that this is about the time for Meryl Streep to arrive late with Starbucks in hand during the standing ovation.

8:16  Seth MacFarlane looks like a longer-haired Ken doll, and has about the same sense of humor. Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston arrive on stage, thank god. No one looks good in this lighting. The Oscar for ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN goes to Jaqueline Duran for Anna Karenina.  Who is all of our hero since she also did Atonement and Pride and Predjudice. The Oscar for ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLING goes to Lisa Westcott and Julie Darnell for their face dirt application in  Les Miserables. One of them appears to be wearing pink jeans. Who doesn't know Oscar dress code!? 

8:09 The award for ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS, which is maybe the same award as cinematography with totally different nominees(?), goes to Life of Pi again, because it was beautiful. The first of these award winers tries to make a joke about meta-reality, literally no one laughs.  He keeps talking over increadibly loud "wrap it up music" because despite the Oscar's faking love for visual effects, they really don't care. 

8:06 Samuel L. Jackson is in a red velvet blazer. The Avengers present the award for ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY, aka pretty movie award, to Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi. He is rambling about how much he loves his movie and getting teary. "Oh my god, I can't even speak," he says, which is kind of true.  

8:00 Reese Witherspoon joins us with perfect hair waves. She talks about the Best Picture Nominees. We see previews for Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild. MacFarlane calls Jennifer Lawrence old, and makes jokes on the expense of the nine year old.  He is the worst, but he welcomes six of the Avengers, which we like--mostly because he's leaving. 

7:55 Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy join us with the gold envelope for some jokes. The award for BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM goes to "Paperman" by John Kahrs. It is his first Academy Award and nomination. His speech is short and sweet, he's no Christopher Waltz. The BEST ANIMATED FILM award goes to Brave  Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman. Andrews has on a kilt, which no one "just happens to be wearing." 

7:47 We finally get Octavia Spencer with a gold envelope for ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE. And the Oscar goes to Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained. He bows to his competitors and tears up in his speech behind his thick rimmed black glasses. He looks genuinely surprised, and gives an inspiring speech.   Everyone falls in love with Christoph Waltz.

7:45 This intro is still going. It shouldn't be.

7:38 There is an inappropriate "fake" musical number titled "We saw your boobs." This intro is rough. MacFarlane asks how to fix this and the answer is hidden from everyone. He introduces Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron to dance to "The Way You Look Tonight."  Channing Tatum can dance, but MacFarlane still can't sing.  He welcomes Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to dance and sing with him. I'm ignoring everyone but Gordon-Levitt.

7:30 We are welcomed to the Oscars by our host Seth MacFarlane. For the first time, the Oscars has a theme "music in films." Probably because Adele is here. MacFarlane makes a couple of jokes that do actually seem funny, but he introduces the Oscars with some sort of roll call that allows him to make these jokes. He makes a slavery joke. Is this okay? He moves on to Django Unchained and also makes a Chris Brown Rihanna reference. A screen descends behind him with Star Trek's Captain Kirk to stop him from "destroying the Academy Awards." Kirk asks "why can't Tina and Amy host everything?" which is really all any of us want. 

7:22 Every red carpet host is incredibly awkward. At the five minute mark we are inside some producing truck where everyone looks awkward. Queen Latifah manages to interact with them like they are normal, and it is an incredibly feat of acting on her part. They are now sitting down, and the real show will start soon. Chenoweth brings up Texas football, and it's horrible. 

7:15 Jamie Foxx really embarrasses his 19 year old college daughter who looks very uncomfortable and unhappy. She looks like someone stole her smile while her father hits on the interviewer. The camera cuts away from some of the most brilliant television drama the Oscars has seen thus far to visit Daniel Day Lewis who is a snooze in comparison.

7:12 Anne Hathaway gives us a preview that the cast will be performing. Kristin Chenoweth's voice still feels like a cheese grater. Especially as she tells Hathaway akwardly that "her hair is growing back nicely." There is a "magic" box they are trying to get us behind. Anne Hathaway guesses that Dorothy's slippers are in there, and people say bad things about the Smithsonian and I cry. 

7:05 George Clooney is unamused with everyone's antics because he's been in Berlin. He promises to drink and makes snarky faces at the hosts, but looks very very nice in his tux.  When Sandra Bullock is interviewed, there are a lot of weird things going on with the sound including Kristin Chenoweth's weird mousy voice. 

7:01 Jennifer Anniston calls the Oscars, "ya know, a magical piece of time," but does say that she will only be attending only one party in her red Valentino dress. The only important people thus far are named Jennifer. The Garner Jennifer claims that she's "just a puddle," which is kind of what the back of her purple dress looks like.   

6:55 Best Dressed has gone to Jennifer Lawrence. No one is quite sure who decided this. Amy Adams and Anne Hathaway were given honorable mentions. 

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Ever since 2000’s “Cast Away,” director Robert Zemeckis has stuck to developing motion capture cinema, most notably with 2007’s preposterously violent adaptation of “Beowulf.” “Flight” is his return to working with live action, and it is a triumphant foray into the field where he made his name, featuring some stylish, effective direction and a powerhouse performance from Denzel Washington.  

We’re introduced to Washington’s wonderfully named Whip Whitaker as he stumbles out of a flight attendant’s bed, does a line of cocaine, has a drink and boards his morning flight. Oh, and he’s the pilot. When the plane crashes, Whip is able to save most of the passengers and crew, but finds himself under public scrutiny once a pesky toxicology report is released. With a whip-smart lawyer (Don Cheadle) and an airline official (Bruce Greenwood) in his corner, Whip prepares for a public hearing while struggling with his alcoholism.

Audiences are used to seeing Washington as an assured, confident man in complete control of his situation, and “Flight” plays into that expectation rather brilliantly. Whip is in control, as evidenced by his ability to land the plane without killing everyone on board. Once Whip is forced to confront his drinking problem, Washington has some truly fascinating material to play with as Whip’s control starts to slip away.

As Whip begins to spiral into oblivion, faced with the realities of his problems, Washington is completely magnetic. Whip is helpless in his struggle against alcohol, and watching that sense of hopelessness and inevitability sink into Washington’s eyes is alarming, to say the least. It’s a remarkably likable but challenging performance, and Washington crafts a compelling hero in a film where the central question is whether we should be rooting for him at all.

It would be easy for “Flight” to become a one-man show, but the supporting cast is far too engaging to allow that to happen. The mostly unknown Kelly Reilly shines as a fellow addict whom Whip befriends, and the wounded tenderness she brings to the role is moving. John Goodman is an adrenaline shot to the arm of “Flight,” roaring through his handful of scenes with reckless, hilarious abandon, and it’s always a joy to see him pop up.

However, James Badge Dale blindsides the audience with his one-scene role as a cancer patient who runs into Washington and Reilly in a hospital stairwell. It’s a small part, but Dale makes it his own, bringing such life and vitality to the flickering candle of his character’s existence. His brief intrusion in the film is thematically and emotionally vital.

Clearly, Zemeckis hasn’t forgotten how to coax strong performances from his actors, but it’s also nice to see he hasn’t forgotten how to direct without a computer. His staging of the film’s pivotal crash is stunning, an absurdly intense sequence made even more so by Washington’s steely reserve. Even when the film is a bit more grounded, Zemeckis is at the top of his game, finding interesting ways to portray Whip’s wobbling sobriety and infusing tension into a foregone conclusion.

“Flight” isn’t the film that it’s been advertised as, and that’s not as big a problem as you’d think — thanks to one of the year’s best performances from Denzel Washington and a spectacular return to form for Robert Zemeckis. It’s much more drama than thriller, but it’s a strong, involving and refreshingly adult film, a mature examination of addiction that dares to ask some uneasy questions.  

Printed on Friday, November 2, 2012 as: Zemeckis soars to cinematic heights

"Safe House" stars Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds who play a young CIA agent tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. (Photo courtesy of Universal)

Safe House” stars Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, who are both at odd places in their careers. Washington is in the middle of a Liam Neeson-style career reinvention, lending the charm and gravitas that have worked so well in dramatic films to intensify stylized action films like “Man on Fire” and “The Book of Eli.” Meanwhile, the obviously talented Reynolds seems to be making a disastrous string of career choices, appearing in two absolute disasters last summer, “The Change-Up” and “The Green Lantern.” Teaming the two actors up for “Safe House” ultimately proves to be a smart move for both, even if the film around them doesn’t quite measure up.

Reynolds stars as rookie CIA agent Matt Weston, the guardian of a safe house in Cape Town who receives an unexpected visitor — notorious rogue agent Tobin Frost (Washington). After a vigorous waterboarding session at the hands of torturer Robert Patrick, the safe house is compromised and Weston and Frost are on the run.

The plot for “Safe House” isn’t especially dense, and that gives director Daniel Espinosa plenty of excuses to layer on the style. This is Espinosa’s U.S. debut, and he instills the Cape Town setting with a grimy, dangerous atmosphere. The action scenes are nicely staged throughout, especially a chase through the slums and an extended, brutal hand-to-hand battle between Weston and a colleague.

Unfortunately, Espinosa’s talent for style doesn’t extend to the narrative. “Safe House” is predictable to a fault, and the supposedly secret identity of its villain is made clear from the very beginning thanks to obvious foreshadowing. While the film’s narrative is mostly built around Reynolds and Washington kicking ass all over South Africa, its denouement tries to say something profound about government corruption and doing the right thing, but ends up sputtering out some nonsense about honor and accountability that’s been covered many times before in much better films.

Thankfully, Washington and Reynolds are very well cast. Washington is at a point in his career where he’s likeable and watchable in almost every film he’s in, and “Safe House” is no different. Though Reynolds is ostensibly the star, Washington is the center of the film, and it’s interesting to see the way that years of violence have hardened his Tobin Frost to the point where he makes killing seem almost casual, cutting down enemies with a menacing familiarity. Reynolds has done good work in other films (2010’s “Buried,” for instance) and he’s serviceable here but never really shines outside of his more quiet scenes with Washington. It doesn’t help that his character arc is in service of a narrative with the subtlety of a neon billboard, yet Reynolds still manages to emerge from “Safe House” unscathed.

“Safe House” is by no means a terrible film. It’s got intensity and style to spare and a good sense of forward momentum, not to mention a strong pairing in its two leads and some memorable action sequences. While that alone (along with the slim cinematic pickings of this week’s new releases) is enough to earn “Safe House” a recommendation, audiences sensitive to clunky exposition, over-predictability and what proves to be a weak, silly ending may want to steer clear.

In the famed rapper’s third film “Takers,” in theaters today, T.I. plays Ghost, a fresh-out-of-jail bank robber who returns back to his unassailable band of thieves, only to find that he’s been ousted from the group. In his attempt to regain their trust, he offers them a high earning mission to hijack two armored trucks, a job that can either ruin them or pay off big.

The Daily Texan had the opportunity to speak with the artist about his role in the film and the camaraderie on the set.

T.I. said he was blessed to work alongside A-list actors, including Matt Dillon, Zoe Saldana, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy and Idris Elba, in the film and to have worked with Will Smith in “ATL” and Denzel Washington in “American Gangsters,” two actors who he believes are the greatest in the business.

The experience he gained from these previous films and the advice he received from Smith and Washington is implemented in his approach with every film opportunity, he said.

“One thing that Denzel told me that stuck with me and always will stick with me is, ‘Don’t ever let the camera catch you acting. Don’t act, just be,’” T.I. said.

To prepare for his role in “Takers,” T.I. said that he asked himself how he would respond to the situations that Ghost was in, and what his demeanor would be. Though T.I.’s real-life bad boy persona echoes his character’s running of illicit deeds, T.I. said Ghost does not epitomize him. The rapper said, if anything, he would like there to be a separation made from art and life, from fact and fiction, and from reality and entertainment.

“I don’t think that I should be held any more accountable to the characters that I play in my films like ‘American Gangster’ or like Ghost in ‘Takers,’” he said. “I don’t think I should be held any more accountable to my characters than Arnold Schwarzenegger should be held for him playing the ‘Terminator’ or for him playing ‘Commando.’”

The only thing actors should be accountable for is their ability to play these characters, he said.

“I’m an actor. I’m just really used to telling a story and to convey a message, the message of the writer of the script, the message of the director,” T.I said. “This is not T.I or Clifford Harris’ message.”

What T.I. respects the most about his character, Ghost, is his ambition.

“I liked the fact that Ghost refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer,” he said. “Everything that he has done, he is looking to do better.”

Though nearly every scene in “Takers” is packed with high-flying, acrobatic stunts, and built-up suspense, T.I, himself was only in two action scenes, as Ghost’s involvement is more of an emotional contribution, both dramatic and comical.

“He’s the driving force of the story,” T.I. said. “He dictated the pace of the film.”

In one of the action scenes he was in, however, T.I. said it was his least favorite moment of filming because he was sweltering in a police uniform in Los Angeles’ heat.

“That [suit] was hot and tight and it itched,” he said. “It seemed like the day went on forever. It was one of the hottest days in California. It had to be.”

Overall, T.I. said the entire experience was phenomenal as each character adds a different swag to the screen.

The chemistry between the bands of ride-or-die brothers, which included Walker, Christensen, Ealy, Elba, Chris Brown and T.I., was energetic and, at times, heartfelt. It is this chemistry, along with the complexity of each character, that separates “Takers” from being just another fast-paced, high-energy blockbuster hit without any substance.

“Just the camaraderie of the guys,” T.I. said, “it was really just like showing up and hanging out.”