From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Armored - D

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, some disturbing images and brief strong language, 88 minutes

Don't let the silly, contrived "Armored" hold you up

"Armored" definitely makes the case for not screening films in advance for critics. It really doesn't make any case well, as this heist movie is the most ridiculously contrived, badly acted and written film that I've seen in some time. It starts out modestly well, then falls apart late in the first act with some of the dumbest plot twists and turns since "Transformers 2." After seeing this heist film, you'll feel like your money's been stolen from you.

A newbie guard (Columbus Short) for an armored truck company is coerced by his veteran coworkers (Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Amaury Nolasco and Skeet Ulrich) to steal a truck containing $42 million. But a wrinkle in their supposedly foolproof plan divides the group, leading to a potentially deadly resolution involving a young police officer ("Heroes" Milo Ventimiglia).

"Armored" is a heist movie that lacks any coherency or smooth story telling and will leave the audience baffled by some laughable, preposterous plot twists that just won't stop. The story starts off well in some early exposition, but it comes undone when the main character is stuck in an armored truck with all the money and won't come out. The other characters work trying to force him out, though they don't even realize he can get out and move around but they can't get in (something I just didn't buy from the get-go).

What's even more surprising is that it wastes a decent, talented cast who's better than this. Dillon and Fishburne are particularly wasted as the leaders of this inept team (both of them are Oscar-nominated actors, but you wouldn't know it by their hokey performances here), who somehow manage to steal the trucks and then don't know how to get in them. Veteran character actor Fred Ward shows up in a couple of scenes (and by that, I mean just a couple of scenes) looking as confused as the audience.

Seemingly, much of "Armored's" plot exposition, character motivation and depth and any semblance of good acting must be on the cutting room floor, and it seems quite disjointed and uneven, particularly the baffling ending, all of which is mishandled by director Nimrod Antal ("Vacancy"). I wouldn't waste my time with the just plain awful "Armored," as it will likely have a short life and find itself on DVD within the month.