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DVD Review: Armored

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Armored tells the tale of Ty Hackett (Columbus Short), a military veteran who’s trying to get his life back together following the death of his parents and a tour of duty in Iraq. He’s recently taken a job as an armored car guard, and is working with his friend Mike (Matt Dillon). The day before a large collection is to occur, Mike comes to Ty with a risky proposition — steal the money with him and some other co-workers (Laurence Fishburne and Jean Reno are amongst the actors playing these co-workers). Ty could really use the money in order to keep his younger brother Jimmy (Andre Kinney) out of foster care; a place he has the distinct possibility of ending up in since he’s been cutting classes. Jimmy has also been arrested for tagging (painting murals on walls, etc) and the bank is getting ready to foreclose on their parents house.

Ty struggles with the moral dilemma of stealing the money, before agreeing to take part in the heist, but he wants no violence involved. Mike tells him not to worry as they are going to just take the money, hide it, and make up a story about being robbed; no one will get hurt and they’ll all be rich. Things start off smoothly, but after a series of accidents, a witness getting “silenced,” and the whole plan in jeopardy, Ty has a panic attack, fears for his life, and seals himself in one of the two trucks.

Now Mike and the crew need to come up a way of retrieving the money, and taking care of Ty by either getting him back on board with the new plan, or silencing him for good. Things get further complicated when a nosey office (Milo Ventimiglia) comes snooping around when he hears the armored cars alarm system go off in the abandoned warehouse where they are now holed up. The climax of the movie sees Mike versus Ty for the money and their lives, with the freedom of the entire crew at stake.

Short does a convincing job as the Iraq vet, who is struggling to build a life for himself and his brother. Dillon does a great job as the mastermind of the heist who thinks he’s got it all planned out, until the series of events he didn't see coming throw a wrench into the works.  The rest of the crew, including Reno and Fishburne, turn in strong performances of men who just want their cut of the money without any hassle.

Armored's DVD release has several extras including a commentary, but instead of having the commentary with director Nimród Antal, and stars like Matt Dillon, Columbus Short or Laurence Fishburne; we get a commentary with producer Dan Farah and actors Milo Ventimiglia and Skeet Ulrich. While Ulrich played one of the armored guards, he didn’t have a large role and Milo was hardly in the movie at all. What’s worse is that the trio doesn’t have much tell about the filming of the movie and that’s apparent as there as large gaps of silence during the commentary. They also reference several deleted scenes which aren’t included on the DVD, which may mean that there were at one time plans to include them or down the road there will be a double-dip for Armored. But anyone who is hoping for some insight into the making of the film, sadly won’t find it in this commentary.

The rest of the extras include several featurettes. "Planning the Heist"  is the typical behind the scenes featurette which has interviews with the cast and crew, who talk about their time on the film.  "Armed and Underground: Production Design" has production designer Jon Gary Steele talking about the construction of the large sets used in the film. "Crash Course: Stunts" is a featurette with stunt coordinator Lance Gilbert who talks about he used the cast, crew used Hot Wheels to plan the stunts seen in the movie.

While Armored doesn’t break any new ground in the genre, it’s a fine way to spend the 80+ minutes or so it will be on your screen. 

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