Empire State may have skipped theaters and went directly to video, but this an interesting true story about the biggest bank heist in American history.
During the 1980s a young man by the name of Chris Potamitis (Liam Hemsworth) is hired by a security company in New York to pick up and deliver money from banks. During one of the picks, a couple of thieves try to rob him and Chris’ partner gets shot and killed. Horrified by the incident, Chris is assigned by his boss to begin working inside, overlooking the stash of money at headquarters during the nightshift. While working inside, Chris discovers that the firm is very lax in security and he and his big-mouthed friend Eddie (Michael Angarano) decide to rob the place.
Chris and Eddie develop a plan and when the guards leave at night, they basically just walk in and steal an estimated 9 million dollars out of the cage. The theft is basically like stealing candy from a baby, but problems arise. First, the local mob chief is not pleased that the action went down without him getting a piece of the pie. Second, a detective (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) is onto Chris and he begins tailing him.
Director Dito Montiel and screenwriter Adam Mazer have nailed the 80s epoch to the tee (much like Mad Men nails the 60s). Despite being Australian, Liam Hemsworth pulls off the New York gig without a flaw, and Michael Angarano is over the top with a punk-like panache. Dwayne Johnson plays Dwayne Johnson, but he adds to the action scenes. My question is why did this movie go directly to DVD, when there is so much garbage at the theaters? Does anyone actually think that a movie like the Lone Ranger or the Hangover is better than this? I don’t get it. Thumbs up on Empire State. (Rated R; 94 min)
My Rating: 3 of 5 Bank Heists.