Armored follows the story of Ty Hackett (Columbus Short – The Losers, Whiteout), an ex-Iraqi war vet trying to make a ends meet working as an armored van security guard, whilst also looking after his somewhat delinquent younger brother. His van crew consists of his godfather Mike Cochrone (Matt Dillon), Mike’s gun happy brother-in-law Baines (Laurence Fishburne), Quinn (Jean Reno), ex-con Palmer (Amaury Nolasco), and Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich).
Faced with the prospect of losing his house to the bank, and his brother to foster care, Hackett agrees to his godfather plan for him and the rest of the crew to fake a heist on their vehicle, ripping off $42 million. Cochrone promises Hackett that since there are no actual ‘bad guys’, there’s no issues with anyone getting hurt, just the bank being out of pocket… But as in any good heist movie, things don’t really go according to plan…
The actions starts off pretty slow, with some incredibly clunky ‘basil exposition’ set ups, but once things start to go wrong for the crew, director Nimród Antal (soon to be bringing us ‘Predators’) kicks things up a few gears, and it turns into a far more interesting movie. With the introduction of Milo Ventimiglia’s officer Eckehart, thinks start to take a turn for the ‘Reservoir Dogs’… Antal also manages to include the requisite action movie car chase, albeit rather more entertainingly using armored trucks!
Out of all the cast, it’s really Short that shines through. This is the first movie of his i’ve seen, and he clearly managed to hold his own against the 3 Hollywood veterans – Dillion, Fishburne and Reno. That’s not to say there was anything wrong with their roles either. Dillion – the Faustian godfather, Fishburne – the slightly unhinged brother-in-law, and Reno – the… um… quiet Frenchman… But it’s Short that comes across as the leading force in the film.
Armored is very much a B action movie, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. Yes, there are a few plot holes, and yes, it’s a bit slow to get going, but overall it’s a perfectly enjoyable and interesting Saturday night DVD movie.
Armored is out on Blu-ray™ and DVD on May 31 2010.