Monday, June 6, 2016

Movie Review: "Empire State" (2013)

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Movie"Empire State"
Director: Dito Montiel
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hours, 41 minutes

A night security guard named Chris (Liam Hemsworth) works for an armored transport company. After finding out the business he's working for is less than honest, he and his friends attempt a poorly planned heist of millions of dollars from his work.

Based on the true event of the largest heist in American history (up to that point) in 1983, "Empire State" is directed by Dito Montiel and stars Liam Hemsworth, Michael Angarano, and to a lesser extent, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. You would think a movie about an armored truck depository robbery would be interesting. It sure sounds like it. Heist movies are usually moderately fun as audiences get to watch the planning of the heist in order to make a clean getaway without injury, arrest, or death. "Empire State" is not the least bit fun. This movie is just flat out dull and unimaginative. Liam Hemsworth plays the main character, Chris Pontamitis, who becomes a security guard after being rejected by the police academy because he was arrested for smoking a joint at a Black Sabbath concert. This is the most interesting part of the movie and it happens within the first 7 minutes. After a series of unfortunate events, including his massive and unending loyalty to a business that proves useless, as well as Chris finding out the company he works for is super shady, he decides to take matters into his own hands and forms a plan to steal money from them. Unfortunately, his friend Eddie, played by Michael Angarano, is a complete and total idiot loud mouth, so the moment he opens his gob on screen, we know things aren't going to go right and it'll be this dude's fault.

The fun of heist movies come from the cat and mouse game of cop versus crook, but "Empire State" has none of that, no fun, no intricate planning, no thrills, nothing. Hell, even watching the guys spend the money they steal isn't interesting! It is very slowly paced and drags on and on with lots bad acting and little to no character development. None of the characters are compelling, and honestly, we want them to die and not succeed in their heist because they are so damn annoying. The script is a shambled mess. It's flimsy at best and has no basis in reality despite being based on a true story. The word we have used the most to describe this film is boooooooring, multiple o's included. Why Dwayne Johnson is even on the cover of this film baffles us because he's barely in it, perhaps about 15-20 minutes of its run time. The instances where he is on screen are the best times here, but all in all, "Empire State" is a movie better served if forgotten. We call him Lesser Hemsworth for a reason.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: No.


  1. Replies
    1. Oof is right! We sure do like The Rock, but his career choices are puzzling sometimes.