Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Armored

There are no bad guys, just good people making poor choices.


"A rmored" is a movie worth watching just for Columbus Short’s performance. Although billed as an action film, "Armored" is unquestionably a study of the human character. Starring Matt Dillon (Crash), Jean Reno ("La Femme Nikita," "Couples Retreat"), Lawrence Fishburne ("CSI," "Matrix"), and Columbus Short ("The Losers"), portray a highly trusted team of security guards. As a member of Eagle security, they are charged with the delivery of millions of dollars of cash from the U.S. Reserve Bank to the local branch of various banks, decide to take 42 million dollars for themselves, and fake a hijack. When the plan goes wrong, each man will need to decide what kind of person he is. Most importantly, what kind of men do they want to be? Action packed, suspenseful, "Armored" is ultimately psychological film, and what motivates men to make the choices that they do. Written by James V. Simpson, "Armored" is his homage to heist film that have come before.

Directed by Nimród Antal, "Armored" is simply a story of a bank heist gone wrong. The opening of the film is a staged heist to celebrate rookie Ty Hackett's end of his probation as a new Armored security guard. At a bar celebrating Hackett's promotion from rookie to full guard with Eagle Shield security service, the members tell Hackett 'war stories' of famous heists of days gone by. The best and final story is about a heist in 1988 where the guards in that heist were ambushed and forced to hand over the cash. The assailants were never caught, and the money never found. Rookie security guard Ty Hackett (Columbus Short), an Iraq war veteran who is fighting the bank from foreclosure, discusses his situations with his go father, mentor, and friend of his father, Mike Cochrone (Dillon). Matt Dillon, in the familiar role of hardworking everyman, plans the heist along with fellow guards, Reno, Fishburne, and the rest of their team. Lawrence Fishburne plays the over zealous, gun toting, trigger-happy security guard named Baines. Quiet, with the reserved confidence of skilled security veteran, Jean Reno plays Quinn, a dependable member of the team. The rest of the actors portray unremarkable characters that have their moments. Armored’s main conflict is between Ty and his best friend, Mike. Ty initially turns down the idea of heisting 40 million dollars in a fake heist, but after coming home to find a Child Protection Services woman at his home and ready to take his 16-year-old brother from his custody, Hackett agrees to go along with the heist. The heist goes well until the thieves with the 40 million split in two Armored cars arrive at an abandoned warehouse. While transferring the money to a hiding place in the warehouse, the group discovers that they are not alone. Hiding in the warehouse, is a homeless guy, seeking shelter from the L.A. heat, tries to escape. Not wanting any witnesses Baines shoots the man, wounding him. Hackett's moral fiber returns, and figuring that the robbery has gone too far, as and his friend, and mentor Mike promised him that no one gets hurt, finishes off the homeless man. Hackett locks himself in the Armored car, and although he knows that, they are in a cell phone, and radio dead zone hopes to hold out until the group is over due with the security company. "Armored" is a battle of wills between right and wrong.

I honestly had a hard time writing this review. Not because, this is an awful film, quite the contrary this film is well made, the story is straight forward, and the acting is reasonable, and in other words, unremarkable. The film's shining moments come, neither from the action scenes nor from explosions, but they come from the fine acting by Columbus Short as Ty Hackett. As each member of this impromptu group of thieves' elaborately simple plan unravels, each actor has their moment to show some character development; however, those moments are short and few. The concept that the writers and director wanted to get across was that there are no bad guys in this movie, just good people making poor choices. That is where I believe Armored is the weakest. With no truly admirable characters to go up against truly villainous characters then the story is essentially flawed and weak. Less than 1.5 hours, Armored is worth watching only for Columbus Short's performance.

Movie Data

Genre:  Crime, Thriller
Year:  2009
Staring: Matt Dillon,Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne, Columbus Short
Director: Nimród Antal
Producer(s) Joshua Donen, Dan Farah, Sam Raimi
Writer: James V. Simpson
Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 88 minutes
Release Date: 12/2/2009