Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Armored - Wore pretty thin

(I did a search on google for "armored" and found this picture of a fish, it's more interesting than the movie was)

The thing I love about writing reviews for really great movies is that you allow your passion to take over and the review writes itself. I’ve had situation where I’ll start writing and next thing I know it’s an hour and half later and I have this wonderful little review staring at me and I’m proud of myself. The flip side to this is the reviews I’m forced to write for terrible movies. They can actually be as easy as the goods ones when a fair amount of humor is involved in the process. Occasionally you get a movie that actually makes you mad to even think about it and that makes the writing of the review that much harder. You force yourself to write it despite the fact that it’s actually making you mad just in the process of writing. Take a guess what kind of movie armored is…..

I’m a fan of botched heist films, they have such potential to be hilarious or can go the other way and be gripping and filled to the brim with drama and antici……………pation. Armored fails on both these fronts, this is the story of a man who’s going to lose his house if he doesn’t come up with some money. The only thing different between armored and every other movie with the same story is that the man in question (in this case Ty Hackett played by Columbus Short) isn’t the person who has the plan to get the money. Enter Matt Dillon, whose character Mike’s relationship with Ty was never entirely explained. He’s a friend of Ty’s father and possibly even Ty’s godfather? They look about the same age so I’m not sure what the deal with them is.

(this is the pace of the film)

Mike, apparently inspired by one particularly unlikely urban legend about armored truck heists, gets the idea to rob their own trucks and hide the money till the heat blows over. This concept is so flimsy that if it were a bridge I wouldn’t risk putting a hamster on it. But as is apt to happen in these kind of movies, he had already convinced 4 other guys to do it and all he needs is Ty’s approval and it’s a go. After a visit from the child welfare office (which is hilariously misinterpreted by the younger brother jimmy “I kept telling her, you got a job, we don’t need no welfare!”) Ty is in for the job on one condition, no one gets hurt. So at this point in the review you should all know how the rest of the movie plays out. Sorry to tell you, you’re all probably 100% right.

The heist goes smoothly, they go to store the money and there’s a vagrant in the abandoned building they decided to use, they shoot him, this pisses off Ty who tries to save him, they kill the vagrant and all hell breaks loose. Ty locks himself in the truck, manages to attract the cops, cop gets shot and he somehow gets the cop into the truck. Ty eventually manages to contact help and the day is saved…seriously. Mix in some obligatory chase scenes add in a handful of the expected “twists” and just a touch of tacked on Hollywood happy ending and you’ve got yourself a direct to video release that somehow managed to hit the big screen. The biggest problem with this movie, aside from just about everything, is the best actors in the film (sans Matt Dillon) were grossly underused, This would have been the Direct to video event of the year for the people who like those (my usual movie going partner among them), but in the end all you get is the most predictable, generic film of the year. The only solace I have is that in a couple of months when it finally hits DVD, if someone asks me what I thought of armored, I can look them right in the face and say “what’s that?”

One Genuinely interesting part of the movie…out of five

P.S. How bad is it that I didn't even mention Jean Reno or Laurence Fishburne?

Next up: Invictus - a last minute blood replacement (get it, I made a rugby reference!)

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