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Blu-Ray Review: B-Movie ‘Armored’ Works on Own Terms

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CHICAGO – The basic moral message of “Armored” is simple: Don’t get partnered with sociopathic lunatics especially when they’re given guns and armored cars as a part of their job. This defiantly old-fashioned B-movie wasn’t screened for critics and was dismissed by audiences around the last holiday season but more than gets the job done as an entertaining rental on its own terms.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

The final act gets incredibly sloppy with plot holes and ridiculous behavior but the set-up for “Armored” is clever and the bulk of the film is simple enough that it more than satisfies as a reasonable action-driven diversion, which is sometimes all you need on a Friday night, “Armored” doesn’t break any rules. In fact, it could have been made in the ’70s or ’80s with similar B-list stars and come out largely the same way, but there’s something nearly comforting about a by-the-numbers action flick that delivers on what you expect from it.

Armored was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 16th, 2010..
Armored was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 16th, 2010..
Photo credit: Sony Home Video

Columbus Short stars as the newest member of a group of armored truck drivers that includes Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich, and Amaury Nolasco (and is managed by Fred Ward). When the gang decides that the answer to their economic woes is to stage a robbery and hold up their own trucks, they end up in a warehouse where, of course, things go horribly wrong.

The most effective section of “Armored” is the second act, which takes place nearly in real-time as the gang fractures over what to do about a series of complications that turn deadly. When a cop (Milo Ventimiglia of “Heroes”) shows up, the script gets a little muddied and implausible but director Nimrod Antal always keeps things well-paced and moving at a steady clip. Turn off your brain and take a ride.

“Armored” is presented by Sony in 1080p High Definition with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The latter is better the former. “Armored” sounds great; looks okay.

As for special features, the Blu-ray of “Armored” comes with “Movie IQ” and a digital copy of the film, along with a producer and cast commentary (the cast includes Skeet Ulrich and Milo Ventimiglia, odd choices considering the relatively small size of their roles but perhaps they were the only ones available), and the following featurettes - “Crash Course: Stunts,” “Planning the Heist: Making Of,” and “Armed and Underground: Production Design”.

‘Armored’ was released by Sony Home Video and stars Columbus Short, Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Skeet Ulrich, Jean Reno, Amaury Nolasco, and Milo Ventimiglia. It was written by James V. Simpson and directed by Nimrod Antal. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 16th, 2010. It is rated PG-13.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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