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Film / Armored

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Armored is a 2009 thriller/crime film starring Matt Dillon, Colombus Short, Laurence Fishburne, Milo Ventimiglia, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich, and Fred Ward.

Tyler Hackett is a security guard who works for an armored transport company. He's left to raise his younger brother Jimmy by himself after his parents died, but struggles to keep their family together as it looks like he can't keep the house due to lack of payments. His colleagues, led by his godfather and family friend Mike Cochrane, approach him for an Inside Job to rob their own company. Ty initially refuses until he is reassured that no one will get hurt in the theft. The guards proceed with the plan until things take a turn for the worse as they're forced to shoot an unfortunate witness. Ty subsequently barricades himself inside the truck and tries to wait for backup while his colleagues are determined to steal the money and kill him.

This film provides examples of:

  • Best Friends-in-Law: Baines is Cochrane's brother-in-law. And they're sure as hell closer friends than Mike actually is with Ty.
  • Broken Pedestal: Cochrane starts out a trusted family friend to the Hacketts as well as Tyler's godfather. Then after the plan all goes to hell he tries to kill Ty, repeatedly, without a second thought, to potentially get out with the money anyway as well as to save his own ass. It's safe to say that trust is now gone.
  • Car Fu: When Ty attempts to escape from the steel mill, Mike tries to run him down with one of the armoured trucks.
  • Closed Circle: With both armored trucks damaged (and the one he's in totaled), surrounded by people trying to kill him, and the steel mill being in a radio dead zone, Ty is going nowhere.
  • Chase Scene: Two of them, one involving both armored trucks (one manned by Ty, who is trying to leave, and the other trying to make sure he can't) and the second one with Ty on foot and Cochrane in the remaining armored truck, trying to run him over.
  • Crime After Crime: The whole movie is one long use of this trope. The main plot starts off with a plan by a group of six or so armored truck drivers to steal the money they're transporting. Tyler, the protagonist, has more of a conscience than the average felon, but needs money and agrees to go along with it. Things start out alright for them when they take the truck to an abandoned warehouse where they plan to hide the money and then retrieve it after they pretend their truck was attacked. At some point, they decide that they need to blow up the truck in order to hide the evidence, but things still look like they might go off without any major hitches. However: it turns out that a homeless man is living in the warehouse. When the homeless man sees them, Baines, the trigger-happy member of the heist team, shoots him, shocking Tyler as well as angering Dobbs, another member of the team who has to be held back from fighting Baines. When Tyler tries to carry the man to an ambulance, Cochrane finishes off the homeless man. From there, Ty turns on them and sounds an alarm that draws police officer Jake Eckehart to the warehouse. Baines shoots Jake, seriously wounding him. Then, in order to force Ty to cooperate with them, Mike has Quinn kidnap his brother Jimmy—the very person he participated in this job for. Meanwhile, Dobbs, after struggling with his conscience, decides he can't handle it anymore and says he wants out, to which the other criminals respond by murdering him. In the end, Mike tries to run his own godson over with an armored truck.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: It's Die Hard in an armored truck.
  • Don't Split Us Up: This is the primary motivation for Ty to join his colleagues in robbing their own armored transport company. After his parents died he was left alone to raise his younger brother, but is struggling to make ends meet. He's in danger of losing their childhood home due to unpaid bills, and a social worker pays a visit to inform him that Jimmy will be placed in foster care if he can't provide for him, leading to this response.
  • Driven to Suicide: Palmer throws himself off the roof of the steel mill after suffering a Crisis of Faith when Ty points out how he has strayed far from his religious beliefs.
  • Fatal Flaw: Cochrane's greed and Baines' trigger happiness, which will cause them to kill anyone who knows too much. This juxtaposition with Tyler's resolve to Never Hurt an Innocent is a bad combination.
  • Greed: Cochrane is motivated by this, and it is his greed that causes him to lose more of his soul as the whole operation continues to go off the rails, leading him to try and murder Ty when the money is destroyed.
  • Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: The protagonist quickly goes from accomplice to Spanner in the Works when the thieves' hideout is found to be not as secluded as they thought and his friend tries to solve the problem by killing the witness, breaking the head organizer's deal with the protagonist that there would be no casualties.
  • I Have Your Wife: The robbers get desperate enough at Ty's barricading that they kidnap his brother and threaten to kill him if Ty doesn't opens up. This leads to Ty jury-rigging the bomb mentioned below.
  • Hope Spot: The triggering of the truck's alarm brings Eckehart to the steel mill to see what is going on (being the only person who heard it), but he gets shot (and his personal radio is destroyed) and Ty has to drag him into the truck to try to keep him from bleeding to death. Also, Tyler manages to convince Dobbs that the they are going too far with the heist but Dobbs, rather than becoming helpful, ends up going into a guilt-ridden Freak Out that forces Palmer to kill him. Tyler later manages to sneak to the mill's rooftop to try to make radio contact, but not only does he lacks reception but he attracts Palmer, who forces him to toss the radio away at gunpoint. Tyler then tries to talk Palmer into helping him, but unfortunately his attempt at guilt-tripping him with Dobbs' death drives Palmer to suicide instead.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Amongst the Eagle Shield crew (or at least the one the movie follows), hazing their new guys with a simulation of a heist on their truck using high explosives and the new guy stuck on the point-blank range of the potential blast. Many laughs are had at the new guy's crapping of his pants.
  • Inside Job: The plot of the film. Six security guard working for an armored truck company decide to steal the money they are guarding and make it look like they were robbed while transporting the money to its destination. They figure that if all of them are part of the theft, then no one needs to get hurt. However, things do not go according to plan, a witness is killed and one of the guards decides to stop the others any way he can.
  • Irony: Baines and Cochran kill the homeless man after he's already been restrained, then try to salvage the plan at all costs after that, because they don't want to walk away empty-handed and possibly end up in jail. The result of their actions leaves the entire team except Tyler dead.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Mike Cochrane, to the max, as observed by Tyler throughout the course of the plan going awry. Finding the opportunity to pull a $42 million heist irresistible to the point he had to pull Tyler in to get the necessary numbers for it was the first sign to Ty that things were going too far. Not abandoning ship (or letting Ty do so) once Baines broke their "nobody gets hurt" promise let Ty know that he couldn't trust Mike. From there, Mike would repeatedly hatch every plan in the book to try to get out with the money anyway as well as kill Ty and deputy Jake Echkehart to keep him from talking. This winds up forcing Palmer to kill first Dobbs, then himself, because of their consciences, and gets Quinn and Baines killed when Tyler decides to blow up the money in his car and they get caught in the blast. Finally, the fiasco ends... with Mike's soul so far gone that even with all the money burned and all his conspirators dead, he tries to viciously run over and kill his own godson with the armored truck rather than admit this whole thing went a million degrees wrong.
  • Justified Criminal: Tyler is left to raise his younger brother after the death of their parents and is about to lose the family house because of unpaid bills, which would force social services to place his brother with a foster family. This leaves him amenable to his godfather Mike's prodding that he partake in a multi-million dollar theft of their own armored money truck. He turns against them when they resort to killing innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and spends the rest of the film defending the truck from his colleagues.
  • Mauve Shirt: Jake Eckehart, a local sheriff's deputy who answered Ty's distress call only to also get shot by Baines.
  • Meaningful Name: Palmer is a former gangbanger who experienced a Faith Heelturn. A palmer was a a medieval European pilgrim who had visited the Holy Land, and they were regarded as holy men.
  • Money to Burn: How Tyler gets rid of all the cash. First he outright burns the money that's been loaded from one of the cars, then he rigs the money in the other car to blow up when bodies get close. The bodies in question? Baines and Quinn.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Palmer has this reaction when Ty manages to show him just how far he has strayed from his ideals. Upon realizing that he had been about to murder Ty, he jumps off the roof to his death.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Ty, 100%. He refuses to be part of the heist until Mike makes this promise to him. Too bad Mike isn't the other member of the team who also feels this way.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Ty tries to persuade Palmer to let him go while talking about how he hasn't hurt anyone. Palmer has just killed Dobbs, and hearing Ty say that makes him cry and then scream for Ty to shut up.
  • Plethora of Mistakes: This movie is of the Guilt-Ridden Accomplice flavor.
  • Retired Badass: Tyler is a former soldier (and still a bit touchy about his actions on tour), while Ashcroft was forced into Desk Jockey duty because of heavy injuries that he got during a heist (and during which he killed all of the robbers single-handedly while wounded).
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: No, not Tyler, who betrayed Ashcroft's trust by going along with the heist and then betrayed the heist team when they took it too far. Mike, the leader of the team who had no qualms putting the millions above the life of his own godson.
  • Spanner in the Works: After Ty's colleagues kill the homeless man, he throws another wrench in their well-thought-out plan by barricading himself with the money they were intending to steal.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe. The armored trucks of Eagle Shield do not have GPS transponders, which means the only thing a guard has to do to report in is to use the radio and they can move around at their leisure (which allows them to do such things as haze the new guy with a faked attack). It is mentioned early on that the trucks will be upgraded with GPS units and other security measures soon, which means that the group only has one shot at pulling off the heist, even if they are on the inside.
  • Token Good Teammate: Ty, until Baines shoots the homeless man.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Mike is this to Ty. It backfires.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Ty adamantly refuses to take part in the robbery, and it is implied that the others are (unhappily) willing to abandon the robbery if he doesn't join them. Then, mere minutes later, a Child Services agent shows up to tell Ty that he's likely to lose custody of Jimmy due to their financial situation. The pressure she puts on Ty leads to him joining the others and several people dying.
  • Urban Legend: An In-Universe one regarding a previous heist done to the armored truck company of which the robbers were never caught (and the theory by Cochrane that it was an inside job) is part of the team's inspiration for the robbery.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Baines averts this with pleasure. In Tyler's and Dobbs' eyes he actually inverts it.