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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Heist > Armored (2009/Sony Blu-ray + DVD)

armored (2009/Sony Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B/C+     Sound: B/B-     Extras: C+     Film: C+



It is hard to do a good heist film and most have been very bad, but Director Nimrod Antal follows up his disappointing film Vacancy with the more ambitious Armored, which managed to attract a solid cast and have some interesting moments.  Too bad it is more predictable and formulaic than it should have been.  A new group of guards for an armored delivery service decide to betray the company by stealing a small fortune in cold hard cash, but complications will ensue.


Matt Dillon Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich and Columbus Short head the cast as we get to know them individually before the plan is formed and goes into effect.  There are tired backstories, dated jokes and a few good moments that the James V. Simpson screenplay desperately needed more of.  Eventually the action kicks in and though it can be well-done, the results are about the same as most entries in the genre of late.  Instead of The Bank Job, we get some good moments lost in a sea of forgetability, though there is some money on the screen.


The actors deserve credit for making this work better than it would have otherwise and we even get some moments of chemistry between them, but it is just not enough to keep this afloat, but at least they tried with what they had and could not overcome the script.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is shot in Super 35mm format and has some great moments of detail throughout for that format, but Director of Photography Andrzej Sekula (Vacancy, American Psycho, Pulp Fiction) has also slightly stylized the image to be a tad dark throughout without overdoing it.  He is very talented and is another reason this is more watchable than it otherwise would be.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD cannot handle the Video Black, is weaker in definition and just cannot capture the better moments of the HD master like the Blu-ray can.  It is passable at best.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix works best in the action sequences and though dialogue and other audio elements are well-recorded, the overall soundfield is not as expansive as it could have been.  The Italian Job remake has a better mix, but Composer John (Sunshine, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later) Murphy’s score here is not bad.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD is not bad for that older format, but cannot match the consistency, richness and fullness of the DTS.


Extras in both formats include a feature-length audio commentary Cast/Crew track and three making of featurettes: Crash Course: Stunts, Planning The Heist and Armed & Underground: Production Design, while the Blu-ray adds movieIQ & BD Live interactive features, plus a Digital Copy of the film for PC and PC portable devices.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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