I'm not here to tell you "Armored" is Kubrickian, Hitchcockian or Fellini-esquire. Nope. Referenced directors are more like Don Siegel ("Charlie Varrick") and Walter Hill ("The Warriors"). Those two helmers didn't fool around with niceties like putting women in their movies. No skirts need apply. They unapologetically made guy movies. Guns, lots of guns. Men met violent death with a twitch of the jaw. Their movies were like a sap to the head. You want a friend? Get a dog.
"Armored" is so a guy movie. Dueling armored trucks? Bloody gunshot wounds? Exploding money? If that doesn't get the lizard part of your brain excited, then stay away.
At 88 minutes, "Armored" is all muscle without an ounce of fat. We meet six security guards who drive armored trucks, three per truck. The six, led by Matt Dillon, scheme up a fake hijack involving two trucks. Their mission one day is to deliver $42 million from the federal reserve (I think). The idea is to drive both trucks to a warehouse, stash the cash, then stage a hijack. Sure, the cops will suspect them, but if they stick together they'll get through it.
Trouble is, one of the six, played by Columbus Short, is a holdout. At first. But he faces eviction. And he's the guardian for his messed up younger brother. He needs cash bad.
Matt Dillon cajoles, pleads, persuades the holdout. No blood on anyone's hands. A clean getaway. All good, no bad. You'll be rich forever. Blue skies smiling at you ...
Everything goes to hell, of course. It's one damned thing after another and the stakes keep going up. And it almost all happens claustrophobically inside an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles. In fact, the movie goes out of its way to project a backdrop of industrial urban decay. I happen to like industrial urban decay.
Kudos to Matt Dillon, who plays the top bad dog. He goes from charming to disappointed to frustrated to outraged to totally effing insane in the course of the movie. Love that guy.
Also, credit is due to the menacing, throbbing, blistering and totally sinister electronic soundtrack by John Murphy. I am guessing he's heard a few Tangerine Dream records.
Also, it's surprising that this is a PG-13 movie. I caught one — one! — f-bomb in this entire movie about violent tough-guy robbers. On some level, I like that. Take the kids.
The director is Nimrod Antal, a Hungarian who made a fine noir set in the Budapest subway system called "Kontroll." Screenwriter is an out-of-nowhere guy called James V. Simpson.
A lot of the people in this movie are just starting out. I am willing to bet the esteem given to this movie will rise as time goes on and these filmmakers advance in their careers.