Seemingly unable to get ahead in life, a wanna-be cop working for an armored car company finds himself sucked into a burglary plot after telling a loudmouth friend about the lax security at work. As seems to be typical with his life, things spiral even further out of control despite his best efforts at fixing things.
Liam Hemsworth (Chris), Michael Angarano (Eddie), Dwayne Johnson (Det. Ransome), Paul Ben-Victor (Tommy), Jerry Ferrara (Jimmy), Greg Vrotsos (Mike), Michael Rispoli (Tony), Emma Roberts (Nancy).
Empire State is an interesting if mild crime drama apparently taking place in the 1970's. The plot is fairly well developed and moves along at a decent pace. The string of bad luck experienced by Chris while intense is also surprisingly realistic and plausible. As the story moves along character development continues to be a good focus without the distraction of excess action.
Acting was pretty good with Hemsworth doing a nice job in the lead role. Johnson is billed big on the cover but really has only a minor secondary role in this one. Angarano was a good addition as friendly antagonist and did nicely. The remainder of the supporting cast was a solid bunch of tough guys and did well.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were all good with an experienced feel and nice technical detail. Physical effects were minimal and supported the story well without shifting focus of the film to the action. Dialogue was good, as was sound and soundtrack.
Overall Empire State is a reasonably enjoyable crime drama, if a bit slow at times. The story feels solid and realistic without excessive fluff added to make it more interesting. Crime drama fans will likely enjoy this most while those wanting heavy action may be a bit disappointed.
With plenty of violence and foul language this should be fine for older teens and above.
copyright ©2014 Dave Riedel
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