I’m not the kind of guy who makes fun of a person’s name. It’s cheap humor, usually in bad taste and disrespectful to a person’s family. Having said that, I would like to now say that the movie ARMORED is befittingly directed by a man with the first name Nimrod. Now, this is in no way an affront to Mr. Antal’s Hungarian ancestry, or his previous work as VACANCY (2007) was a tense, chilling film, but it is meant to insult his work in ARMORED, which was a dumbed down project that should have gone straight to DVD, and not even considered for Blu-Ray. This is made even more insulting to us, the viewers, by filling the film with actors we like and respect and either giving them nothing of note to do or say, or just making them come off as just plain dumb. Agents need to be fired over this.
Columbus Short plays Ty Hackett, a young Gulf War veteran who, traumatized from vague travesties never explained, takes a job with an armored car service. His mentors in the business are friends of his father played by Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne and Jean Reno (Skeet Ulrich is in there too, but…come on, it’s Skeet Ulrich). The old heads decide their finished with the working grind and decide to fake a hijacking of a $42 million dollar load for them to keep for themselves; an ill-advised plan as any armored car agency worth its salt would watch them like a hawk the rest of their days, so no nice purchases or drastic changes in lifestyle could be made. Ty is having problems with house payments and child welfare as he is guardian of his little brother, so he reluctantly agrees to the heist. As things go wrong, Ty changes his mind, and the film becomes a race against time as the crew has an hour before the service starts looking for them, and Ty has to hold them off and wait for the cavalry.
Columbus Short did well in CADILLAC RECORDS, but here is playing too many emotions and none of them well. Laurence Fishburne is dumbed down to a ridiculous degree, and it’s evidenced by an obvious and sophomoric joke 10 minutes into the film (MATRIX fans are not looking at Morpheus here). Jean Reno is nowhere near THE PROFESSIONAL as he barely has any lines and hardly any action. Matt Dillon is the only redeeming quality of this film, as he plays his part with compassion towards Ty, does well as the leader of the crew, and then turns on the menace at the right time, but the plan is not well thought out, and since he’s the leader and architect of the plan, that just makes him seem dumber, thus negating anything positive on the part of the character. All in all, just bad all around performances in a poorly conceived script.
Heist films are exciting when done right, with savvy characters we can invest in from the start. This is not one such film. Go out and rent the OCEAN’S movies or THE SCORE or even THE ITALIAN JOB, don’t waste your time with ARMORED. Sorry, Nimrod Antal, but with your name, you should really veer away from projects like these. You’re just asking for trouble.