Armored - Catholic Courier

Armored

By John P. McCarthy
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — Guards employed by a Los Angeles armored car company demonstrate the old adage about the paucity of honor among thieves in the negligible “Armored” (Screen Gems).
 
The pleasures of a good heist flick are well concealed, in this addition to the genre, behind a flimsy script, mediocre acting and dull action sequences.
 
The newest employee to join the security outfit Eagle Shield is Iraq War hero Ty Hackett (Columbus Short) whose parents have recently died, leaving him with considerable debts and a teenage brother with a talent for graffiti art to mentor.
 
Ty’s colleague and godfather, Mike Cochrone (Matt Dillon), urges him to participate in an inside job along with four fellow guards — Mike’s trigger-happy brother-in-law Baines (Laurence Fishburne), Quinn (Jean Reno), Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich) and a born-again Christian named Palmer (Amaury Nolasco).
 
Ty reluctantly agrees because he’s desperate for money to pay the two mortgages on his house — the bank is threatening to foreclose — and wants to keep his little brother out of the clutches of child services.
 
Mike’s plan, such as it is, entails stealing $42 million by staging the fake hijacking of two cars transporting funds from the local Federal Reserve branch. Sure enough, things quickly go awry in the abandoned steel plant where the crew endeavors to stash the dough. When blood is spilled, Ty is the only character to exhibit scruples or a modicum of smarts. Arguably, the behavior of his ostensibly salvation-seeking cohort Palmer is the most damnable.
 
At least director Nimrod Antal keeps this nondescript effort moving along without undue complications. Set in an empty industrial sector of the city, the gray ghost of a production lacks atmosphere and flare. James V. Simpson’s thin screenplay only gestures at a theme concerning working stiffs or regular Joes — ex-servicemen like Ty — getting their shot at a slice of society’s financial pie.
 
One thing’s for sure, the system owes them more than “Armored” can deliver.
 
– – –
 
McCarthy is a guest reviewer for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office for Film & Broadcasting. More reviews are available online at www.usccb.org/movies.

The film contains considerable, though not excessive, action violence, including gunplay and knife use, some profanity and much crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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