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Genre: Action/Crime
Director: Nimrod Antal
Cast: Matt Dillon, Columbus Short, Milo Ventimiglia, Skeet Ulrich, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Amaury Nolasco, Fred Ward, Andre Kinney
RunTime: 1 hr 28 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.armoredmovie.com/

Opening Day: 4 February 2010


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.

Movie Review:

Who watches the watchmen indeed. Imagine the temptation if you're charged with the responsibility of handling millions of dollars everyday as you transport cold hard cash from one point to another, with potential danger lurking around every corner because your armoured truck is a prized target for thieves who dare hijack your vehicle or conduct a heist. Such heist films involving personal greed and inside jobs are nothing new, given flicks like Hard Rain (starring Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater) and The Take (starring John Leguizamo) dealing with the same subject matter of corrupt security colleagues, though Armoured upped the ante by having a slew of better known names in its cast with the likes of Matt Dillon, Jean Reno and Laurence Fishburne.

But the story here focuses on the rookie guard of Eagle Shield, Ty Hackett (Columbus Short), a decorated war veteran whom the system left behind, with parents already gone, a juvenile kid brother to look after and double mortgages to pay off. Suddenly, being propositioned by his senior colleagues to join them in their opportunistic theft of US$42 million seems like a god-given chance to settle his problems in one fell swoop, especially with the promise that their alibi's water tight, and that nobody would get hurt in the process. Should that happen of course, we'll be in for with a darn boring film, so expect Murphy's Law to kick in to shake things up and change their game plan completely, making it all look like an unplanned disaster..

So begins what could have been delivered in Reservoir Dogs proportions, and for a moment I thought director Nimrod Antal had it all figured out.. After all, I had enjoyed his film Kontroll (2003) tremendously and felt that this would be an equally thrilling ride. The build up was, but the execution slowly crept into the implausible and became increasingly illogical as the film went on, no thanks to the story by James V. Simpson that clearly exposed major shortcomings in the narrative plot with obvious research slack.

For instance, if security firms ran the way the fictional Eagle Shield firm did in the business of transporting cash safely from point to point, one can imagine the continuous amounts of insurance payouts that has to happen. There are irrational steps along the way of the proposed heist, and it is precisely this complacency or incompetency that you have to accept in order to watch the film, or buy into a number of conveniences. Otherwise, everything will run fine and dandy, and the bad guys all caught the minute the armored trucks deviate for their secret rendezvous. Then again the counter-arguments would be that this group aren't too bright to begin with, which you may be inclined to believe when characters are exposed to be simpletons, and serving little purpose except to be body counts from ingenious, improvised methods to die.

The unnamed star of the show then had to be the armoured vehicles, which were shot with some degree of romanticism involving its thick doors, bulletproof windows, and a battering ram of a body which were well on display during an obligatory chase sequence. A pity that the film had gaping weak points, just like how the muscled, reinforced vehicle, had gaping holes to be exploited in its hinges, and thin floorboards.

Movie Rating:

(Needs a thicker hide to protect itself from plot cliches and conveniences)

Review by Stefan Shih


. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

. Vantage Point (2008)

. Die Hard 4.0 (2007)

. Miami Vice (2006)

. 16 Blocks (2006)

. Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

. The Take DVD (2007)


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