2009 Certificate: 12


A tight-knit bunch of security guards led by Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne think they know the secret of the perfect crime... nicking $42m they're supposed to be protecting in an armoured truck they're driving. However, a single glitch in their meticulous plan sets in train a sequence of events that sees the buddies, turn against each other with bloody consequences. Vacancy director Nimrod Antal's balls-to-the-wall heist yarn is a deliriously barking mash-up of buddy movie and robbery caper. Perhaps its better to keep that cash under the mattress.


  • Nimród Antal


  • Matt Dillon

  • Laurence Fishburne

  • Jean Reno

  • Skeet Ulrich

  • Columbus Short


That old philosophical poser "but who shall guard the guards themselves?" gets dumbly questioned in this deliriously illogical crime caper from Vacancy director Nimrod Antal.

One of the key questions anyone must ask themselves when making an action thriller that truly engages the audience is: does it make any sense? Armored doesn't make any sense at all.

One minute honourable crew leader Matt Dillon's gang of armed guards - gung-ho nutter Laurence Fishburne, highly-strung twit Skeet Ulrich, born again ex-con Amaury Nolasco - are amiably swapping robbery stories over a beer in their local bar.

The next they've half-inched $42m from their own truck, promptly fallen out before they could claim it was someone else and are subsequently battering each other with iron bars, shooting vagrants in the back, taking out inquisitive cops and pondering torching a truck. With an erstwhile buddy locked inside. And all before you can say Brinks Mat.

Even the truck carrying Simon Cowell's wages isn't worth this sort of hassle.

The basic message is that Eagle Shield Security recruit most of their drivers from the local psychiatric unit, such is the schizophrenic nature of the employees. One minute getting misty-eyed...the next doling out black eyes.

How are a group of poorly-paid, blue collar numbskulls going to rise above suspicion by pretending they've been ambushed by mysterious - read made-up - assailants who've then made off with GDP of a small country? Answer: they don't, really.

And how is that "the perfect crime". Answer: It isn't.

Most risible is Dillon's conversion from Bud-swigging regular guy to ruthlessly cold-eyed killer in the space of 36 minutes. Even Hannibal Lecter evolved over a few years.

After the brutally effective Vacancy, this is a mess of unconvincing characters, doolally plotting and dumb flag-waving - the one honest character being an Iraq vet forced to join the others in their brain-dead scam.

Silly truckers.