So that's the plan, huh. Just drive the truck into a building.3/10
At the heart of almost every truly great crime thriller is a carefully considered, methodically planned-out high stakes super-crime, which 9 times out of 10 is committed by a bunch of likable, grey-scale morality underdogs for who life isn't fair, for whom getting back at the man is, well, something worth cheering for. First-time screenwriter James V. Simpson's script for Armored gets this half right. He made extra-double-sure that we've got nothing but sympathy for the recently orphaned, Iraq war veteran Ty Hackett (Stomp the Yard's Columbus Short), who's about to have his house taken away by an evil bank (brother, I've been there). And he gave Ty a good family friend in Mike (Matt Dillon) who is super nice and gets him a job at the armored car company that he works at with Baines (Lawrence Fishbourne) and some weird French dude (Jean Reno). These guys like to have fun and play pranks, but they are also serious armored car guys too, so that means they carry guns and are tough.
After a short while, as one theoretically watches Armored, one might start to think as I did, that maybe - just maybe - this is going to be some kind of awesome, tongue-in-cheek, cornball heist movie with some on-the-nose characterizations that move the story along its natural course, cranking up the personal stakes of all involved in hopes of unveiling a really, really clever plan with lots of potential 'holy sh*t' moments. I mean, the music alone is textbook heist-movie - gritty, edgy beats working overtime as we're treated to close-ups of characters who say things like "As a matter of fact I do," and "Are you crazy??" For 45 minutes or so, the movie had some serious genre-flick potential.
Then things start to really stink. These dudes, these idiots, have no plan. There's no "Ok, here's what we're gonna do..." scene, no blueprints, no explosives, no black van or ski-masks (despite their 'test-run', as can be seen in a trailer). No, these guys are going to steal $42 million dollars from their own trucks (which are only being tracked by HOURLY contact over the radio, despite being equipped with some fancy, big-deal 'GPS technology'), and they aren't even going to sit down and discuss it. Hell, Mike only tells Ty about the plan the night before, which is completely ridiculous. But of course, Ty's got his house to think about so as long as Mike promises that 'no one will get hurt,' he's on board. Guess what, though. Somebody gets hurt. Why? Because, besides driving the trucks into an abandoned factory to hide the money, they have no plan. That was it. That was how far they thought things out. So, naturally, things start to unravel. These cats deserve everything they get for being so unprepared.
This script, frankly, feels like it's like the product of some bad improv game: "Armored Car, robbed by its own guards...GO!" Despite some half-decent buildup that could have maybe taken the film in a few interesting directions, the story just completely falls apart, and pretty soon, NOTHING makes sense, or is even remotely plausible.
When filmmakers don't have a cool "hook" for their heist, their characters seem stupid, and bungling. And when characters are stupid, and bungling, it's hard for an audience to invest in them, and their story. And when that happens, any suspense drains out the bottom of the movie, leaving a laughable, hollow husk.
Skip it. 3/10