Armored (12A)

The ViewNewcastle Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/01/2010

One out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Armored starts well but quickly runs out of steam, thanks to dull characters, a weirdly moralistic script, an extremely tedious middle section and a general lack of ideas.

What's it all about?
Directed by Nimrod Antal (Vacancy), Armored stars Columbus Short as Ty, a rookie armoured truck guard who's struggling to support his kid brother Jimmy (Andre Kinney) after the death of their parents. When a welfare agent suggests that Jimmy might be taken into care, Ty reluctantly agrees to come in on a $42 million heist planned by fellow guards Mike (Matt Dillon), Baines (Laurence Fishburne), Palmer (Amaury Nolasco), Quinn (Jean Reno) and Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich).

However, once the heist has been pulled, Baines kills a homeless witness, causing Ty to change his mind about the whole thing and hole himself up in the van with half the cash. His siren blasts for help attract the attention of a local cop (Milo Ventimiglia) but will the two of them be able to overpower his corrupt colleagues?

The Bad
Armored starts well with a nicely staged (if guessable) fake-out scene and a decent set-up. However, once the heist is over, the film goes rapidly downhill as it quickly becomes apparent that the screenwriters have run out of ideas.

The result of this is that the film spends a ridiculous amount of time with Ty just stuck in the truck doing nothing while the other guards try and get him out. Needless to say, this is extremely tedious, though it's not as annoying as some of the other stupid plot twists, most notably a suicide scene that comes out of nowhere.

The Worst
Dillon and Fishburne are old hands at this sort of thing and they bring a bit of edge to their characters, though Nolasco, Reno and Ulrich in particular are basically relegated to the background and given very little to do. However, the film's biggest problem is Short, who is, unfortunately, something of a charisma-free zone, so it's difficult to care about his character.

The other strange thing about the film is its oddly moralistic tone, as if it wants all the thrills of the heist movie but also wants to shout “Thou shalt not steal!” at you, very loudly.

Worth seeing?
Despite reliable work from Dillon and Fishburne, Armored is something of a disappointment, thanks to a dull script and a lacklustre leading performance from Short.

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Content updated: 12/05/2012 09:41

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