“Armored” is one of those movies whose actors make you take notice, but doesn’t have an interesting enough premise to make it seem worth your while. Perhaps of greater interest is that it’s directed by the guy who’s been hired to make the new Predator sequel/reboot.
Based on the box office, most people aren’t aware of this movie, so the basic story is that a group of armored truck drivers come up with a plan to steal $42 million and make it look like they were hijacked. The newest member of the team has second thoughts and things escalate from there. 4 of the 6 hijackers are faces you know—Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, and Skeet Ulrich. The main character though, was an unknown to me. And he does a solid job. He’s worried about the bank seizing his house, taking care of his younger brother, and this is all after he’s returned from the Iraq war. It may sound cliché, but it’s all background info that feels very authentic and timely. It’s not in your face about it.
Once the heist plan is set in motion, the rest of the movie is almost in real time. They’ve got an hour before their company notices something’s wrong. Most of the movie then takes place in an abandoned warehouse where they’d intended to store the cash. It’s either a great location, or a very impressive set. There’s a good cat and mouse aspect between the drivers and the guy who’s trying to stop them. Plans are made, attempted, and change to suit the current need. There’s genuine suspense created. The actors all do a pretty good job. The action scenes aren’t terribly creative, but it was pretty easy to tell what was happening. Considering how rare this is in action movies lately, that’s a big positive.
Overall though, it’s still a rather small story and it really helps small stories to have great characters. While the characters here are good, they’re not great. In fact, you’re even a little conflicted about the main character’s decisions. While I do love ambiguity when done right, here it just makes it a little harder to get invested in what’s happening. It is a pretty solid movie, but unremarkable. Worth seeing, but not worth seeking out, if that makes sense.