Written by Amelia Butterly
Armored should, in theory, have all the makings of an exciting and original action thriller. But while there were some polished performances from the well-assembled cast, overall the poor script and massive plot holes kept me well away from the edge of my seat.
The premise of the film is fairly novel in that this time there are supposedly no bad guys. Instead employees of Eagle Shield Security are going to act out a heist on their own armoured vehicles, stealing $42 million and providing themselves with the perfect alibi.
Columbus Short plays Ty, recently returned from the war in Iraq and caring for his younger brother after their parents die, leaving them deep in debt. It is only when a lady from child welfare knocks at the door, insisting on foster care for his brother, that Ty agrees to take part in the heist with his Eagle Shield colleagues.
The group are an assorted collection of losers including an ex-con, a gun obsessive and Tyâ€™s godfather (Matt Dillon) who leads them all. Laurence Fishburne deserves a mention as the crazed almost psychotic, firearm-wielding member of the group. He stands out, despite his bad lines and gives tension to what could otherwise be an extremely flat narrative. The rest of the cast, which includes established actors like Fred Ward and Jean Reno, are woefully underused. They struggle with the implausible nature of the plot and seem to lurch from one scene to the next without any real motivation.
It is refreshing to see an action film move away from a typical storyline of renegade law enforcer versus an evil baddie hailing from whichever country America is at war with at the time. Unfortunately James V Simpsonâ€™s script, in avoiding these clichĂ©s, never really seeks to develop his new characters. Without this insight they are one-dimensional and it is hard to understand why the characters do what they do; their erratic and unpredictable behaviour simply undermines the reality of the narrative.
Not only do the characters change in a way that is confusing rather than tense but also there are so many flaws in their plan that you begin to wonder why they ever thought it might work in the first place. Although real life security firms probably want to keep their trade secrets to themselves it is hardly presumptuous to assume they use GPS and other tracking devices â€“ apparently not Eagle Shield though. This is just one of the many areas that is barely touched upon in the film and it is very frustrating how little research seemed to go into making the heist seem authentic.
The film certainly lacks a plausible narrative and the script is clichĂ©d to say the least. While fervent action fans should be pleased with the amount of guns, blood and explosions it is really only these and the occasional good performance that lends merit to Armored. For those who want a little more from their action movies, it is probably best to look elsewhere.
Last edited: 29th May 2010
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