Wednesday, November 6, 2013
"Empire State" with Liam Hemsworth and Dwayne Johnson (2013)
Based upon the true life heist of an armored car company in 1982, this movie, set against the backdrop of the Bronx, really moves. In this drama, would be police officer Chris, played by Liam Hemsworth, takes a job at an armored car firm when he fails to get into the police academy due to something stupid he and a friend did years ago. Chris has matured since then, while his friend Eddie, played by Michael Angarano, has done all but that. He is a coked up loser, fueling his imagination with ideas of getting rich quickly, and easily. No matter what the cost is.
When Chris is involved in a shooting while trying to thwart a robbery attempt, he is placed on duty inside of the warehouse used to store the money. The place is run in a half assed way, with the security cameras not always working properly and the trucks often parked unloaded in the yard. In addition there is also very little security within the building. The only real threat, besides Chris, is the German Shepard who resides in the money room.
The real kicker is that no one actually knows just how much money there is in the room, since no one ever counts it, and the bosses are continually dropping by to make “withdrawals.” It is estimated that there was about $25 million in the room at the time of the robbery. The firm was actually a front company for the mob.
When Eddie is made privy to the details of the operation he cannot help but drag Chris into a scheme which has no chance of succeeding. When the caper is done and Eddie blows his half on a drug deal gone bad; about $8 million worth of bad; he goes back to get Chris’s half, even if it means the downfall of them both.
When Chris refuses to play ball with Eddie anymore, Eddie attempts to kill him, and Chris’s dad intervenes.It was only a matter of time anyway before either the cops, or the mobsters who control the territory would have found them.
Based on the real life heist of the Empire Company in 1982, this film will really grab you from the very start to the last moment. None of the cash has ever been found, even though we know it was hidden inside a statue in Chris’s front yard at some point.
The film ends with the real life Chris; now free from prison; speculating on just where that money might be. And he does it with a smile.