I think you already know that we here at Rabbit Reviews are suckers for heist movies. Armored exactly that, a heist movie featuring a straightforward plot and a familiar cast. Additionally, it follows a single armored truck robbery, something we haven’t seen before. Or at least I haven’t seen it before. You know the formula, they usually do a couple of truck robberies as a warmup for the main bank heist. And I don’t know why because these armored trucks are so fucking interesting. Something we will learn more about in this movie. They will go into detail explaining how the locks work, what type of armor they use, and all kinds of other shit.
There’s also this primal element, where you feel somewhat safe in this moving fortress. Although we all know how that turned out for the guys at the beginning of Heat. Now, that fucking scene is a work of perfection. Armored starts really well but later on, it develops a case of underdevelopment. Some of the subplots are not logical, some are left in the dark and there will be quite a few plot holes. Still, there’s enough meat on the bones here to warrant at least one viewing.
The cast is comprised of experienced actors who knew how to play these macho guards without coming off as too over-the-top. It was so nice to see Skeet Ulrich and Fred Ward, along with the rest of the somewhat forgotten actors from television shows like Nolasco and Ventimiglia. With sharp and crystal clear cinematography, Armored looks and feels like a much bigger movie. I mean, the budget wasn’t that small, around $20 mill but this feels like at least a $40 mill movie.
Ty Hackett, an army veteran now works as a security guard for Eagle Shield. He’s not doing so well financially and this job is barely keeping him and his younger brother afloat. What he doesn’t know is that there’s a plan in motion he might be a part of. A plan that could make him incredibly rich as some of the guys on his team are planning to rob one of the armored trucks they’re driving.
Armored showcases just how good modern B movies can get. It knows what it is and it leans heavily into this cool eighties macho style. And since a large part of the story is taking place in a warehouse, you have this Reservoir Dogs vibe going on. With a runtime of just over 85 minutes, it’s lean and mean. I also have to mention how real and sad these characters feel.
You know just how soul-sucking these types of jobs can be and how they can grind a man out. And the only relief you get is by knowing your coworkers are in the same shit as you are. It’s the little things, like fucking with your buddy by moving your car just as he’s about to open the door. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out Trespass starring Bill Paxton. It’s another nerve-wracking single-location movie with a situation going from bad to worse.
Director: Nimród Antal
Writer: James V. Simpson
Cast: Matt Dillon, Columbus Short, Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne, Amaury Nolasco, Milo Ventimiglia, Skeet Ulrich, Fred Ward
Fun Stuff: There is only one woman who has a speaking role in the movie: the child protection agent. Her role is shorter than 4 minutes.