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The West Wing
A newbie guard for an armored truck company is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $42 million. But a wrinkle in their supposedly foolproof plan divides the group, leading to a potentially deadly resolution.
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So I'm watching this movie awaiting the dramatic twist or punchline. The scenes work but they don't punch you emotionally because we've all seen them before. They are in your weekly TV crime dramas or if you're a daytime soap fan, it that too. Scripts written pretty fast in the TV schedule world where they tend to lean on the actor's performances more than an original script because there is a history with them and the characters. The setups are structurally okay but there really isn't much to them. This is what Armored was.
But this is a major motion picture with a cast of established and seasoned actors. Scripts like this in the Hollywood world get fine tuned by many ghost writers as they make sure there are clever moments and an underlying theme that ties all the characters and plots together. This isn't that script and I now am very curious how Armored got made.
What we have here is a basic plot with a basic set up and a basic conclusion. And I'm watching all the way through looking for some sort of 3rd act twist because there is no way this is all that there is. In 90 minutes we really find out nothing we've already seen before in an hour long CSI or Law and Order episode. This is the movies where hard working people pay a lot for their entertainment. They expect more for their buck because they can just go home and watch things for free.
This movie made me sad because I didn't get it. How could they make this movie? It just doesn't seem fair.
So the setup is that 5 security officers who work for an armored truck company want to steal a new shipment of $42 million. But there is a new guy on there shift that they need to coerce in order to do it. Here's the problem with this:
1) We never really find out why these guys want to steal the money. Looking at there age and the stories they tell, it looks like most of them have been working for more than 20 years. That means they are just a few years away from their pension. Why would they steal the money? It's only $7 million split between them and it seems like an awful risk, especially because this is a pretty good union job. So we like to know WHY they are doing this.
2) The young guard they need to coerce is motivated to do it because he needs the money because they don't have enough shifts for him. So if they don't have enough shifts for the guy because he's the bottom of the totem pole of seniority, then that means the 5 security guards can do the robbery with someone else when he's not on shift. So the 1st act set up and conflict really is pointless.
3) The one guard (played by Laurence Fishburne, who perhaps thought he was reading one of his CSI scripts when he signed on) is such a loose cannon waiving his big gun around and such, you kind of feel that anyone with at least half a brain would be weary to join a criminal collusion operation with him.
What I did like about this film is that when things go wrong it gets worse and worse and never gets better. Hitchcock created the formula for these types of thrillers called the roller coaster theory. When things get down with the main character, then things go up for a bit, then down again, then up again. That way the audience is emotionally on the edge of their seat because they are feeling the ups and downs of the characters. In Armored we just go straight down and never go up again until the unrealized and lame ending. So I have to give them that point of originality.
And the timing of this film too is a bit puzzling. Usually when a film comes out during December it is because of substance. This one doesn't have much unfortunately.
But I have to think that they had to been more in the original script. Something had to of gone wrong in the execution. There's no way this final product is what they envisioned.