"Armored" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

3/21/2010 Posted by Admin

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review


Directed by Nimrod Antal, written by James V. Simpson, 88 Minutes.

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Ty Hackett (Columbus Short) is a war hero. He earned the Silver Star in Iraq, and now he's back home taking care of his younger brother Jimmy following the unfortunate passing of their parents. He works with his godfather Mike Cochran (Matt Dillon) at the Eagle Shield Armored Truck Company, but he's hardly making ends meet--the mortgage his parents left behind is slowly bringing him and his brother down. But an opportunity arises: Cochran and Ty's other coworkers (played, among others, by Laurence Fishburne and Skeet Ulrich) are cooking up a scheme to fake an attack on their armored car and stash away $42 million in cash. This is just what Ty needs, but in the tradition of "Resorvoir Dogs" and "The Bank Job," things don't go quite right and Ty finds himself up against his comrades when his conscience gets the best of him.

It's a simple plot, but like "Resorvoir Dogs" (which definitely seems to be its primary inspiration, as it both revolves around the aftermath of a spoiled heist and is predominately character-driven), it works  well and manages to be entertaining and tense for most of its running time.  It starts out slow, though, and the slow burn to the eventual meat of the film isn't as successful as what comes after. "Heroes" star Milo Ventimiglia is sloppily introduced early in the film only to appear again far later, and the development of Ty's brother Jimmy as a youth troubled by his parents' death is forced and oversimplified in comparison to the rest of the film.

All of that said, once the film gets going, it really gets going and it stays exciting and engaging the rest of the way through.

Also like "Dogs," the film is carried by a pretty impressive cast, at least impressive by typical action-thriller standards. Short and Dillon play terrifically against each other, and Dillon brings an unbridled conviction to his role, managing to portray a convincing and threatening villain without ever going over-the-top. The supporters are generally excellent, with Fishburne and "Heroes" star Ventimiglia being particular stand-outs.

The film deals heavily in themes of morality and responsibility (at least, as much as a rip-roaring heist B-movie can), which makes the rather cookie-cutter plot and characters a bit refreshing. Of course, they all serve their basic thematic purpose--for instance, Dillon iss the mentor turned bad, Fishburne is the immoral psycho, Ulrich and Amaury Nolasco are the redemptive good-bad guys, etc. The writing isn't anything groundbreaking but it's enough to elevate this above most films in the genre. The direction from "Kontroll" and "Vacancy" director Nimrod Antal (how awesome is that name?) is also far stronger than you'd expect in this kind of movie.

In the end, it can be put best like this--have you ever been flipping through the channels one day and find yourself watching some paint-by-numbers action movie on TV, thoroughly enjoying it but not necessarily finding it to be anything spectacular? That's pretty much what you've got here. I don't want to oversell it by any means--"Armored" is far from serious cinema or even more sophisticated crime-thrillers such as "The Departed" or more mature heist films such as "Ocean's Eleven"--but it is a lot of fun, and it's well worth watching some day when you're looking to turn off your mind and sink into a well-made B-movie.

Grade: B-

Watch the trailer for "Armored" below. Thoughts?

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