To make a good heist movie you need a distraction, a getaway car, an alibi and a target worth the risk.
You also need good pacing, fresh dialogue and suspense.
Unfortunately only mere traces of these things can be found in Armored. Better stick to Ocean’s 11.
Mike (Matt Dillon) heads up a team of armored security guards who decide to rip off one of their own trucks for a cool $42 million but, in order for their plan to work, they need newbie Ty to be a part of it.
I thought I was going to be treated an fun, action packed caper movie and instead, what I got was a serious, action packed bungled robbery story. With character motivation and development spread thinly on the ground, the film relied mostly on tension to move along. This would have been fine if the tension had been based on character’s we cared about or understood.
The problems with Armored can probably be laid at first-time screenwriter James V. Simpson’s door as the character’s are uneven to say the least and half of them we barely get to know. In some films this isn’t a problem but here we’re left with a small group of people for almost the entire film and if we don’t know them, why should we care what they do or why they do it?
Fortunately the film has a few saving graces. Columbus Short plays Ty, a soldier turned security guard who’s about to have his house repossessed and his brother taken into care. We know him, we care about him and Columbus puts in a solid effort but maybe could with a more demanding director.
Andre Kinney is Ty’s younger brother Jimmy and he plays an angry teenager very nicely, a good start early on his career. The rest of the cast seem to just be used as padding. Laurence Fishburne let’s himself down with the typical loose cannon character that’s such an obvious screw up, it’s hard to believe that Mike would choose him for this heist. Unfortunately one of the most interesting character’s, Palmer, played by Amaury Nolasco, barely has more than ten lines, which is a real shame.
Matt Dillon isn’t really strong enough to lead this movie and plays Mike unevenly to say the least. He wasn’t given great dialogue to work with but I’m pretty sure he’s better than this.
Director Nimrod Antal (yes, that’s his real name) handles the action scenes much better than the drama; the car crashes and gun fights are entertaining but don’t really bring anything new to the table. Neither does the rest of the film. Having said that, if you want cheap thrill, you might find it in Armored but I’m not promising anything.