Thirty minutes into


, we're shown the heist. It's an inside job, security guards knocking over their own armored trucks. And their newest member, Ty (Columbus Short) needs indoctrination.

"There's no bad guys," the leader of the pack (Matt Dillon) purrs. "Nobody'll get hurt."

Thirty minutes of that kind of talk, of us seeing the new guard's Iraq war wounds, his troubled kid brother, his financial problems. Thirty minutes of "We're not letting the bank take your house."

The pitch, far-fetched as it sounds - $42 million, they'll pretend they were hijacked - is hard to resist, if you're desperate.

Thirty minutes in, we see the plan click into place. And five minutes later, the heist goes wrong. Somebody does get hurt. And Ty doesn't just want out. He wants to stop his "brothers" to save a wounded cop.

Director Nimrod Antal showed so much promise when he delivered that minimalist Hungarian subway thriller Kontroll that it's a shock how pedestrian this potentially gritty story looks and plays. The staging and editing are by-the-book and static.

And the actors? Dillon and Short share a couple of acting tics - nervously scratching their heads (Short's just copying Dillon, who is known for this) and a tendency to run a hand across their respective faces in mute frustration.

Supporting players Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich, and Amaury Nolasco have their contractual "one big moment" each, but not one of those moments is big enough.

Armored *1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Nimrod Antal, with Columbus Short, Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, and Jean Reno. Distributed by Full Circle Releasing.

Running time: 1 hour, 28 mins.

Parent's guide: (sequences

of intense violence, some disturbing images, and brief strong language).

Showing at: Area theaters.EndText