Armored (minus the ‘U’ cos it is American after all) is directed by Nimród Antal and has an all-star cast which includes Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne, Milo Ventimiglia, Columbus Short, Skeet Ulrich and Fred Ward. It starts off very much setting the scene from the word go and focuses around Ty (Columbus Short), an Iraq war hero who has a brother named Jimmy (Andre Kinney) who have both recently lost their parents. Ty is a good guy and takes his brother on as his legal guardian. Ty works for an armoured car company called Eagle Shield where his father used to work and since his death and has become friends with co-workers Mike Cochrone (Matt Dillon), Quinn (Jean Reno), Baines (Lawrence Fishburne), Palmer (Amaury Nolasco) and Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich). Cochrone takes Ty under his wing and ensures him that he’ll look after him ‘no matter what’.
Times are tough though and Ty is struggling to make ends meet with letters from the bank becoming more threatening and the task of looking after his teenage brother even more demanding – things are getting desperate. Cochrone comes to him with a solution that stealing $42m they are transporting is his only way out with the help of the rest of the team. Ty agrees as long as no one gets hurts, and as in all Hollywood movies, things don’t go as smoothly as they’d hope.
The first half of Armored, I got a little bored if I’m honest. I felt the plot was going on very predictably and I was by no means on the edge of my seat. The first bit of action if very early on in the movie and it was executed very well but I felt was very predictable. I wont tell you what happens incase you don’t guess! Armored is only 85 minutes long and because of that I felt the movie took ages to get going, but that said, half way through, the movie most definitely moved out of first gear.
The story changed from being predicable when the action started but the issue then was that it all became a little silly and unbelievable with secret compartments becoming evident in an armoured car and multiple other ways in which an armoured car could be penetrated + the fact that we never really understand how their initial getaway was going to work in the first place. Milo Ventimiglia turns up as the beef-eating cop to try and add some normality back into the story but soon he gets lost in the void of unrealism.
The cast all perform well but we know the calibre of Jean Reno and Lawrence Fishburne and this movie really doesn’t give them a chance to shine as they are more side-kicks than main cast. Matt Dillon does a good job playing the likeable bad guy and Columbus Short does a fantastic job as the movie’s lead when arguably he was the least known cast member. Moments of genius came from director Nimród Antal, my favourite being as Ty is running through a abandoned factory, seeing his head through hundreds of poles as the camera pans alongside him. That shot must have taken forever! The violence in the movie is mostly suggested to help keep the rating to 12a but I didn’t think this detracted from Antal getting the message across.
I’d watch Armored again on DVD and would recommend you go and see it but with Oscar season fast approaching, this one won’t be winning anything but if you like your action movies big, loud and bassy, then this one is for you!
Armored is released 22nd January (This Friday).