Review: Armored DVD

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Nimrod Antal | STARS: Columbus Short, Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich, Fred Ward
RELEASE DATE: 3/16/2010 | PRICE: DVD $28.96, Blu-ray $38.96
BONUSES: cast/producer commentary, featurettes
SPECS: PG-13 | 88 min. | Action thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A tightly wound “B” movie with a first-rate cast, Armored delivers the goods in terms of steely dialogue and macho posturing. Down-on-his-luck Iraq war vet Ty (Columbus Short) takes a job working with godfather Mike (Matt Dillon) at an armored truck company in hopes of saving his house and keeping custody of his deadbeat younger brother. Mike persuades Ty to partake in a scheme to rob one of the company’s trucks to the tune of $42 million. Not surprisingly, the heist goes awry, and Ty decides he’s better off pulling out of the whole operation. Ty’s decision, however, pits him against Mike and his cohorts (including Jean Reno, Skeet Urich and Laurence Fishburne) in an abandoned warehouse.

The setup makes for some intense moments, and helmer Nimrod Antal (Vacancy, the upcoming Predators reboot) knows how to get maximum suspense out of scenes set in close quarters. He’s aided by a cast that seems gung-ho about pulling off this exercise in manly theatrics that is set essentially in two locations. Especially fine are expressive newcomer Short and the always watchable Fred Ward, the home base-stationed supervisor of the security company.

Penned by neophyte James V. Simpson, Armored plays like a programmer Don Siegel or Richard Fleischer would have cranked out in the 1950s. And that’s a good thing. Genre pictures that wear their ambitions on their sleeve, and proudly achieve their goals successfully are a rarity these days.

 

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.