Monday, September 06, 2010

Les Chansons d'armour

After watching "The Hurt Locker" and reading all the experts weighing in on the authenticity, Victor and I watched "Armoured" and boy, if I don't desperately want to blog about the accuracy of that movie because I know there are people spending sleepless nights wondering about it.

In a break from tradition, it was actually good. The previews struck me as a bit ridiculous, and I had mentally categorized it as "crap" but it was actually worth watching. Even watching on blu-ray (admittedly it was a free rental after I'd rented all three Pirate of the Caribbean [see This is not a Sick day] but it still won out over "Nim's Island" and I seriously love Jodi Foster [No Homo]) was an unregrettable experience, and my measure for movie has dropped alarmingly in the last few months. It's like I'm a sinking Zeppelin, and tolerance is the first cargo to go in my bid to stay aloft.

The atmosphere seems much like usual, the nature of the armoured truck business is that big family meetings like the two shown are almost impossible, and slightly ridiculous anyway, since half of the employees would be returning from shift, and the other half leaving. Because normal people like all of you have lives and apparently desire to live in the sun, I have to be a nocturnal creature to adapt and still draw wage for the ridiculous slacking that I do.

They get badges. I want a badge. There is literally no point to issuing badges. Except, I guess, they are in America, where the gun alone is not going to command fear and respect, but then if they want to discourage bad guys, they are unlikely to find support in a badge, since bad guys are notoriously apathetic about symbols of authority. They are shiny though.

The main problem that we noticed, in fact, was the cavalier attitude towards their firearms. People were swinging them around, covering other people off, gesturing with them, and I don't mean during the heist, I mean in the locker room, on the street. There is a scene, and I can't make this up, where the two men go in for a pick-up in a crowded bank,and one has his sidearm drawn. The likelihood he has his safety on is ... not likely, but he's just holding it like it's a matching clutch that also coordinates his earrings to his shoes. We'd be fired at that point.

My favorite part, which should come as no great surprise, is the trucks. These giant beasties are gracefully arranged into a car chase.
A chase? Aren't these things tremendous chunks of iron with the grace of a heifer?
True, true, my dear reader, but the director has spared no such frivolity in the name of Action Movie. These Brobdingnagian boxes are hauled up to their highest speeds and smashed into each other in a vague imitation of transformer sumo wrestling. It boldly demonstrates their acceleration and handling without ever being fake. "These are giant cubes," says the director, "but watch them smash into each other like continental drift." In the special features there's a section for stunts, and bless his little heart if he doesn't talk about the truck's "personalities" and how they were each extra characters on set, and I totally agree. These honkers we work with each have their own features and strange quirks; I appreciate the director eking each extra km/h out of these majestic lumps. They also corner like a fat man chasing cake.

On the last point, the movie's a bit dated. There are a bout a billion measures in place to avoid exactly the situation they play out. But if we can accept that it happened before the Armoured Car services realized that people might want the money they are protecting, and decided to dissuade them from getting it, then it is entirely believable. And all in all, a darn good watch.

No comments: