Let’s say a highly decorated Navy SEAL willingly destroys the Hope Diamond to prevent it from being stolen by, say, grizzled, classless Vikings. Would this extirpation make him a) a moral, upstanding pillar of the Navy SEAL community b) kind of a douchebag who has clearly lost all sense of not only his personal responsibilities but the mission as a whole or c) some weird combination of both? This is the central philosophical quagmire at stake in Armored, though unfortunately for all involved, the Navy SEAL is a rent-a-cop, the Hope Diamond is a bunch of bags with dollar signs on them, the Vikings are other rent-a-cops, and the philosophical argument is simply a stupid, poorly dissected question never indulged by above-average actors and below-average directors and writers so smitten by their own idiot, retread premise that none bothered to see how pointless, depthless and meritless the whole thing was.
Ty Hackett (Columbus Short) was a soldier. Now he’s an armored car attendant because bad things happened while he was a soldier. I realize bad things is a little unclear, but Armored is one of those movies that says bad things and expects you to think that’s enough. This review will do the same. Bad things also happened to Ty’s parents--they died, and left eagle-spray-painting younger brother Jimmy (Andre Kinney) in the custody of his sibling. Yes, he graffiti’s eagles on his kitchen wall because bad things happened to his parents. Did I mention the bank is foreclosing on Ty’s house? They are. Medical bills.
Mike (Matt Dillon) and Baines (Laurence Fishburne) are brothers-in-law. Police Officer Eckhart (Milo Ventimiglia) loves chili-dogs. Quinn (Jean Reno) is a foreigner of mysterious origins. This movie is all about shoehorning in one bizarre, random quirk. That way when someone dies, you don’t think some guy just died. Instead, you think that dude who paints eagles on the wall just died. So, anywho, the brothers-in-law decide, along with the foreigner and the soldier who did bad things, that they should hold up their own armored car. Naturally, the little scheme goes haywire pretty early on and the soldier who did bad things decides to lock himself in the armored car with some of the money and that cop who likes chili-dogs because he’s suddenly feeling virtuous and was never that down with the plan to begin with. In case you were wondering, the chili-dog-eating cop who only heard a siren and ended up inside the armored car was there because he was at the chili-dog restaurant right by the armored car hideout. See how it just ties up the loose ends there? Good times.
People die in this film. Money is blown up. Friends betray friends. Police officers are taken hostage, a large portion of which directly happens because the goddamn Navy SEAL decided nothing was more important than guarding the Hope Diamond. So, does that really make him the bad guy? How much does intention shape our view of morality? Do armored vans really only check in once an hour? Why isn’t there music by Korn, Slipknot or Tool in this film? Do they expect me to just get hyped up on my own? Why didn’t anyone think out a contingency plan? How do they have access to this hideout? These are just some of the questions like-minded viewers will ask and the below-average talents involved here will ignore. The answers, like the payoff and general purpose for this film, never come. It just idles, like a man who has gotten up from the couch, immediately forgotten why and convinced himself if he simply comes back with something, no one will know his original goal was lost. But what to get? A chili-dog sounds about right.
I’d like to give this film zero stars, but it seems a bit unfair to give a film zero stars simply because it doesn’t succeed at anything. Not sucking can sometimes be half the battle. Nothing about this film downright sucks. It’s like Andre Agassi with normal hair. He looks great with the bald head, but non-bald regular hair isn’t the mullet weave. And that deserves something. This movie is noticeably better than Obsessed. Lets call it two stars on account of the bald eagle graffiti and lack of Beyonce.
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