Combustible Celluloid
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With: Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne, Amaury Nolasco, Fred Ward, Milo Ventimiglia, Skeet Ulrich, Columbus Short, Andre Kinney
Written by: James V. Simpson
Directed by: Nimród Antal
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, some disturbing images
Running Time: 88
Date: 12/04/2009

Armored (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Off Guard

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by Nimrod Antal (Kontroll, Vacancy), Armored has a terrific gritty feel with great use of chilly, metallic, urban locations, and at only 88 minutes it's a very streamlined, no-nonsense genre film; it could almost be called a low-tech "B" movie.

Iraq War veteran Ty (Columbus Short) gets a job working with his godfather Mike Cochrone (Matt Dillon) at an armored truck company. Ty has money troubles and is about to lose his late parents' house as well as custody of his younger brother, when Mike makes an offer. Mike and four others are going to rob one of their own trucks and cook up a fake heist to cover their tracks. Ty reluctantly agrees, but when the so-called simple job "no bad guys... only good guys" unexpectedly turns into a bloodbath, Ty changes his mind and decides to do the right thing, but will it be at the cost of his life?

Armored has an economic way of developing its characters so that the situations come about as a result of the characters, rather than the reverse. As things get going however, certain small logic loopholes tend to crop up, and intelligent audience members will find themselves asking questions about some silly occurrences and images. ("Why didn't they just...?") But viewers that can sit back and roll with the movie's dynamic energy, atmosphere and pacing may enjoy themselves in spite of these drawbacks.

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