Sunday, July 13, 2014
EMPIRE STATE (2013)
Directed By: Dito Montiel
Written By: Adam Mazer
Cinematography By: Dana Gonzales
Editor: Jake Pushinsky
Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Michael Angarano, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jerry Ferrera, Paul Ben-Victor, Michael Rispioli, Emma Roberts, Nikki Redd, Shenae Grimes, Sharon Angela, Chris Diamantopoulos, Roger Guenveur Smith, Angelic Zambrana
After failing to get into the police academy, Chris Potamitis, settles for a security guard job with the EMPIRE STATE Armored Truck Company. Chris makes the mistake of mentioning the company's lax security to his best friend, Eddie, and is soon unwittingly drawn into an elaborate scheme to rob the abundant amounts of cash being stored there - resulting in the largest cash heist in U.S. History. As the stakes continue to rise, Chris and Eddie must outwit James Ransone, the veteran NYPD Detective that is hot on their trail, as well as the local crime bosses that want to know who pulled a job on their turf, or suffer the consequences.
This film hair feels like an overall miscalculation. It has the sum of it's part but they don't exactly for together. Like there is a missing element that might have made this make sense and be worthwhile.
The film had an authentic feeling if old school New York. -The bigger names in the supporting cast amount to Mere cameos making you wonder if favors were called in or a multitude of scenes were cut once the film decided to I another direction then originally planned. As the film as Tina now concerns the two leads, but some subplots seem to start and fizzle or are just hinted at never proceed.
Dwayne "THE ROCK" Johnson's wardrobe throughout and demeanor seen more modern then the period he is supposed to be placed in. As the biggest name in the cast he seems to have gotten special treatment to look cool throughout the film. Though really he seems to just be the icing on the cake to lure audiences.
The films advertising also lies to the audience as the film is a minor more dramatic heist story. Maybe because of it's stars the posters and trailers more advertise it as a action thriller. It plays up the drama and situations more then it builds up the crime. It also presents Emma Roberts as a major co-star when she is really a minor part who has maybe 3 scenes totaling 15 minutes of screen time if even that much.
As with most movies of this ilk. They make it hard to understand why the responsible lead character would still hangout and trust his obviously loser pal.
Liam Hemsworth feels miscast as he is too soft and has more leading man looks that become distracting and have is doubt his believability as the character.
On the other hand Michael Angarano is quite good and a scene stealer as usual as the screw-up best friend. Thoroughly convincing I wish he was more of the films focus. I only wish he was part of a better film. That matched his performance.
Dito Montiel is a good director, but here he seems, like most of the cast to be on autopilot. There doesn’t seem to be any passion, urgency or style. He obviously loves to make films about New York as lost of his stories as films are set there and he started his career off well with a passion and eye.
First film directed by Dito Montiel that doesn't feature Channing Tatum.
Though the film has moments of interest many I the scenes fall into character cliches and predictability. As you sense if not know what's going to happen. Then seems to try to build up only to end with a whimper. Even when it is based on a true story.