Learning Right from Wrong
Release Date: December 04, 2009
Starring: Matt Dillon, Columbus Short,
Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno,
Skeet Ulrich, Amaury Nolasco,
Milo Ventimiglia, Fred Ward,
and Andre Jamal Kinney
Genre: Crime Thriller/Heist Movie
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 88 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony Pictures
Director: Nimrod Antal
Executive Producer: Debra James and Russell
Producer: Joshua Donen and Dan Farah
Writer: James V. Simpson
Address Comments To:Clint Culpepper, President, Screen Gems
Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident/Triumph Films)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000; Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
ARMORED stars relative newcomer Columbus Short as Ty Hackett, a rookie guard at an armored car company that transports money. Ty recently returned from the Iraq War, with a Silver Star, when his parents died. Now, he takes care of his younger brother, Jimmy, in their family home, but Ty’s having trouble making ends meet. Ty’s mentor at Eagle Shield Security is Mike Cochrane (played by Matt Dillon), who was himself mentored by Ty’s late father. Mike promises Ty that he won’t let the bank take the house.
One night after celebrating the end of Ty’s probation working as a guard, Mike tells Ty that he and their working buddies have a plan to rob $42 million from a huge annual bank transfer the very next day. The plan is to fake a heist by other unknown criminals, hide the money, and burn the armored trucks. Ty says no. Mike begs him to sleep on it. If Ty is not at the bus stop where Mike picks him up to take him to work, Mike will assume that Ty doesn’t want in on the planned heist.
When Ty gets home, however, he discovers a lady from Child Protective Services visiting the house. Much to his chagrin, he learns that Jim, who has gotten in trouble with the law about painting beautiful murals on public property, has lied about going to school regularly. The lady has also learned that Ty is having trouble paying the mortgage.
The next day, Ty doesn’t show up at the bus stop. He does, however, show up at the last minute at work and decides to take part in the heist. Mike assures Ty that no one will get hurt.
Ty, Mike, and their other co-workers in on the plan pick up the $42 million at the local Federal Reserve garage. After connecting by radio, they take the money to an abandoned industrial complex, located in an area where radio signals are disrupted.
While hiding the money from one of two trucks in a large indoor pipe, they spy a homeless man watching them. The men chase after the homeless guy with their guns. Ty tries to protect the man, but one of the guys, a volatile man named Baines (played by Laurence Fishburne in one of several excellent performances) shoots him dead.
Extremely upset by this turn of events, Ty manages to burn the money already stashed in the pipe and take the truck with the rest of the money. An exciting chase scene ends back at the same warehouse. Still locked in the truck, Ty next turns on the siren to alert people. Mike and the others eventually disable it, but not before one nearby cop hears it.
The tension builds as Mike and the others try to break into the truck, and the cop drives by to investigate. Mike increases the stakes by sending one of the men to Ty’s house to use Ty’s brother as a hostage.
ARMORED is a riveting crime thriller. It has a great script with excellent dialogue that’s often very dramatic. The whole cast does a great job. The dramatic interplay between the characters becomes just as important as the action in the plot.
Best of all, ARMORED has a strong moral, redemptive worldview. Although the money tempts Ty, he eventually does the right thing. In fact, he even risks his own life for the lives of the homeless man, the cop, and, eventually, his little brother. Ty is rewarded for his heroism and bravery, though he does get away with joining the robbery scheme in the first place.
ARMORED is a unique heist thriller in today’s pagan society. Most heist movies encourage viewers to identify with the thieves. ARMORED, however, encourages viewers to root for Ty in his attempt to stop the thieves and save the policeman’s life. The movie does contain, however, strong intense violence and foul language, including a couple “f” words and several strong profanities, so strong caution is recommended.
The theatrical version of ARMORED is rated PG-13, but home video viewers might want to be careful about the eventual DVD, which may contain an R-rated or an unrated version with more strong foul language.
ARMORED is a riveting, gratifying thriller with a great script and an excellent ensemble cast. The dramatic interplay between the characters becomes just as important as the action. Best of all, the movie has a moral, redemptive worldview encouraging viewers to root for the hero who risks his life to stop the armored truck robbery from continuing. The movie contains intense action violence and plenty of strong foul language, however, so strong caution is advised.