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Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

NIMROD Antal’s muscular heist thriller Armored is a workmanlike genre entry that strives for Reservoir Dogs-style status but comes up short.

Featuring a strong ensemble cast and a claustrophobic final third, it’s the type of film that promises more than it ultimately delivers… much like the predicament its characters find themselves faced with.

Ty Hackett (Columbus Short) is an army veteran struggling to keep his home and look after younger brother Jimmy. But under the tutelage of his godfather Michael (Matt Dillon) he has been able to land a job as a security guard.

When Michael comes up with a plan to steal $42 million from a bank with his fellow security colleaues, Ty reluctantly agrees to help out… until the heist goes wrong and he finds himself standing alone against his former crew members in an old, abandoned warehouse facing a desperate race against time to survive.

Antal’s film takes a tried and tested formula and populates it with a decent ensemble cast, including Laurence Fishburne as a hotheaded colleague, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich and Armaury Nolasco.

He also opts for a slow-build set-up that unfolds in a pressure cooker-style conclusion.

But while the performances are fine and the action sequences well handled, the plot itself fails to grip as tightly as it should.

This is partly due to the fact that it feels a little too contrived in places with several scenarios stretching credibility and emerging as more laughable than real.

Characters, too, have the habit of behaving irrationally… appearing level-headed one minute and prone to idiocy the next, with many of their actions feeling unlikely.

The twists are too signposted and the ending feels like an anti-climax, making this a frustratingly mundane affair in spite of the solid groundwork put in early on.

The overall result is a deeply average crime thriller that’s much less smart than it thinks it is.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 89mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: May 31, 2010