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Genre: Action/Crime
Starring: Matt Dillon, Columbus Short, Milo Ventimiglia, Skeet Ulrich, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Amaury Nolasco, Fred Ward, Andre Kinney
Director: Nimrod Antal
Rating: PG (Violence)
Year Made: 2009




- Crash Course: Stunts
- Planning The Heist: Making Of
- Armed And Underground: Production Design
- Producer And Cast Commentary


Languages: English/Portuguese/
Subtitles: English/Thai/Chinese/
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




A crew of officers at an armored transport security firm risk their lives when they embark on the ultimate heist.against their own company. Armed with a seemingly fool-proof plan, the men plan on making off with a fortune with harm to none. But when an unexpected witness interferes, the plan quickly unravels and all bets are off.


Heist movies are a dime a dozen but a truly good one is like finding a needle in a haystack.

From Nimrod Antal, director of "Vacancy" and the upcoming "Predators" come "Armored", a heist movie that involves a crew of security guards who are planning to steal the Federal Reserve money of $42 million in which they are tasked to deliver.

In the great tradition of heist movies liked "Ocean Eleven" and "The Italian Job", the scheme is carried out by a group of merry men led by Mike Cochrane (Matt Dillion), the cool as cucumber Quinn (Jean Reno), the impulsive Baines (Laurence Fishburne), timid Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich) and religiously-inclined Palmer (Amaury Nolasco). But their plan went awry when Cochrane’s godbrother, Ty (Columbus Short) decides to backout after Baines shot dead a vagrant who accidentally chance upon their misdoing. 

Unlike the mentioned examples or "Inside Man", "Armored" lacks the formula that makes heist movies work. Firstly, it does not possess an ingenious scheme as it’s something formulated from the 'inside'. Secondly, the script by James V. Simpson turns into sort of a weak character study after a middling start off. And there’s little adrenalin, hair-raising sequences to pass off as a mindless action flick too.

A huge chuck of the story arc lies on the shoulder of Ty, a character who reluctantly joins in the crime because of the dangling carrot that will help pay off his outstanding home mortgage or faces the prospect of seeing his troubled younger brother going into foster care. At the same time, he is morally troubled by the antics carried out by his fellow colleagues despite the assurances by Mike.    

Unfortunately, that’s about all you get to know about Ty and the rest of the characters played by a decent cast of Matt Dillion, Jean Reno and Laurence Fishburne ended up as mere paper thin caricatures that serve to be obligatory killed off as the movie goes. If this is not enough, a young Sheriff Eckehart (played by Heroes Milo Ventimiglia) turns up midway for an unnecessary inclusion.

Antal has proven his capability in his indie debut "Kontroll" and the thriller "Vacancy" that he can do a pretty good job on a limited budget and confined shooting locations. Employing his usual signature styles, "Armored"” fails to rise above the occasion with a $20 million budget and the abandoned factory that serves as the main plot location for half the running time reduced the overall feel to a B-grade movie without much tension to grip you.

The disappointment would not have been so great without the presence of such a wonderful cast. Furthermore, there’s nothing in this bland dialogue filled pedestrian script that will leave you with much of an impression, the potential is squandered and it’s indeed a crime.


Crash Course: Stunts – An 11 minutes featurette in which stunt coordinator Lance Gilbert talks in details how they design and choreograph the chase sequence using Lego bricks and his son’s hot wheels to pre viz before the actual shoot.

Planning The Heist: Making Of – The cast and director talks about the story arc and the various characters in a segment that offers a much more detailed look to the audience than the final movie actually shown.

Armed And Underground: Production Design – We get a behind-the-scenes look at how the abandoned factory was actually a set constructed on a soundstage.

Producer And Cast Commentary - Producer Dan Farah and Actors Skeet Ulrich and Milo Ventimiglia contributed to this weary commentary that talk a great deal about the filmmaking process. Too bad director Nimrod Antal wasn’t around to share with us his side of the story.


The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack delivers the goods when it calls for it. Dialogue which dominate half of the movie is clear and audible though there are barely enough gunshots and explosions to wake up the neighbours. Visual is a tad distracting given majority of the movie is drowned in dark gritty shades but the DVD transfer is competent enough not to distract your viewing pleasure.



Review by Linus Tee

Posted on 16 May 2010


. Armored (Movie Review)

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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