Armored [Blu-Ray] Armored [Blu-Ray]

Armored [Blu-Ray] Armored [Blu-Ray]
It's been some time since we've seen a decent spin on the heist flick. Contrary to a bit of critical lashing that most likely helped hit the film's theatrical snooze button, Nimrod Antal has done just that with Armored. Not to say it's an exceptional film, just one as solidly made as the armoured trucks the story hinges on. Columbus Short is the fresh face amongst a team of veterans, both in character and in cast. Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne, Skeet Ulrich and Prison Break's Amaury Nolasco are the senior crew of an armoured truck company, always ribbing each other about robberies. Until, that is, they inform their military trained new colleague of their intentions to actually rob themselves when their truck is carrying 42-million dollars. Initially resistant, external pressures involving his younger brother and a child welfare agent (Drag Me To Hell's vomiting gypsy, Lorna Raver, in Armored's sole, and brief, female role) force Columbus's character to go along with the plan. The idea is that there are no bad guys, so nobody should get hurt. Right. If there are no bad guys then there are no good guys either, just guys making difficult decisions once shit and fan are forced into a sit down. Dillon, Reno and Fishburne are reliably solid in their roles as tired ringleaders ready for a payday. The surprising work comes courtesy of someone we haven't seen much of lately: Skeet Ulrich. His desperate vulnerability and uncertainty as Dobbs hint at the potential for a career resurgence if he's given meatier roles. The other pleasant surprise (at least for Heroes fans) is evidence that Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli) has some range in his portrayal of a straight-laced young cop stumbling into a bad situation. In less capable hands, this could've been forgettable genre fodder, but Antal has a knack for milking great work from his crew. The cinematographer captures beautiful, metaphoric light reflections and the action scenes are shot clearly, but with a mysterious tension that bodes well for Antal's upcoming Predators. A "Making Of," along with production design and stunt features, provides great behind-the-scenes content and information from the director, cast and writer. It's too bad they didn't rope in more than Milo, Skeet and a producer to do the lacklustre commentary track. Not that I'm not interested in how many veggie hotdogs Peter Petrelli (I mean, Milo) can scarf down, but some technical specs in a film this beautifully shot would've been appreciated. (Sony)