Friday, March 21, 2014

Saturday Movies: Empire State (2013)

My first thoughts aftr watching this movie was why is Emma Roberts name on the movie poster, and why is her face on there? She played a very small part in the movie, and if I was Michael Angarano I would be mad, as he played even a bigger role than Dwayne Johnson did. Anyways, I get it. It's about who's face we recognize most? Well to be honest I didn't think this was a bad action movie though, and I don't even know if it's a typical action movie. Where it fails is bringing out the characters in only an hour and a half. They had a whole true story to work with here, and it gets shambled into a very short, quick story.

Summary: Based on a true story. Chris and Eddie are childhood friends who are struggling to make it. After Chris's father loses his job, and he witnesses the armored car company he works for giving less than they should to one of the widow's of their employees he feels tempted to rob from them. With Detective Ransome beginning to suspect Chris' involvement after an up in the attempted robberies at the company, Eddie and Chris get tangled up in some dangerous crime rings.

Acting: I think the acting is good enough to be believable enough from the leads. It's a little obvious though that Liam Hemsworth doesn't fit into this community of dark headed, New York sounding, group though. Especially since he is very tall and almost blonde, and everyone else sounds and looks Italian. Hemsworth does a good job at least at taking a shot of the accent, but it would have been a lot better to just go with a guy who suited the role better, especially if you see what the real life guy looks like. Angarana suits his role a lot better. He's not supposed to be, or at least I didn't think, a likable guy. Maybe that is a problem though? The guy seems to be looking for a lot of pity, but you can't help but feel he dug his own hole. Dwayne Johnson is good in the few scenes he has as the detective, but honestly the guy is advertised way too much for the small part he plays. Another featured is Emma Roberts, who makes the movie a lot weaker. Her accent is the weakest, and even the Australian is better about faking it. She also adds no dynamic, but maybe that is because her character was so undeveloped anyways.

Filming: The movie tries to capture the vibe of the 80's. There are plenty of costumes, but some of the costuming, most notably Dwayne Johnson, doesn't look as if they are dressed up as much as everyone else. Other bits are threw in though like the movie Poltergeist playing at a theater, and the mention of the music of the time. Without the setting though the movie doesn't have anything particularly luring you into the technical aspects of it though, and with the brevity the story is told in it doesn't allow for you to grow that much attachment to it.

Plot: The plot is based on a true story, and while the story they've brought to the screen is just entertaining, it's also just yet. With a real story, and the people to speak to you would hope for a lot more, especially when you compare it to other heist movies. Other crime movies, particularly like Goodfellas, really go all the way to not only entertain but get us involved with the characters. Now since these guys, Chris and Eddie, weren't as big time impressive criminals, I would say they are more like the guys that Michael Bay brought to life from real life in Pain and Gain. They are goofy, and just getting greedy, even though Chris seems to be fueled by some good. Instead this movie never finds one direction to go in. It mixes a bit of drama, and then pulls some action. In the end it just gives an entertaining movie that you will leave behind, but what is disappointing for the viewer that you feel there is much more they could have given the movie.

Empire State isn't quite as bad, at least I thought, as critics had made it out to be. I did think Liam Hemsworth gave his character his all, and he is the lead. Hopefully some better roles start coming Hemsworth way though, because the guy seems like he is entertaining actor. With movies like this though he is just a pretty face with not much depth.

Rating 6 of 10.

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