A Solid Crime Thriller That Works…
Empire State is one of those movies that anyone in todays current financial situation will enjoy, not unlike Uwe Boll’s Assualt On Wall Street, where someone is pushed into doing something bad thanks to a lack of money. In this case it’s based on the true story, set in the early 80’s, of Chris Potamitis, (Liam Hemsworth) a young man who has applied to become a cop, but after being refused the job, starts work as a minimum-wage security guard with Empire Securities. He starts working on armoured trucks and becomes friendly with his new co-worker who teaches him the ropes. He also shows him where the cash is stored and how to access the secure room, with 1234 on the keypad to disarm. On his second day at work, the pair go out to make a pick-up, but a supposed passerby throws an explosive device under the truck, which then blows up causing a diversion. Chris is shot in the chest of his ‘vest’ but his new co-worker isn’t so lucky, and after fighting back is shot multiple times on his unprotected side.
Because Chris didn’t get a chance to draw his weapon he is suddenly given nightshift, simply guarding the strong-room and watching the monitors. He isn’t too pleased about this and tells his childhood friend, and serious pain-in-the-ass, Eddie (Michael Angarano). The next night he steals $25 thousand and makes the mistake of telling Eddie who persuades Chris they should rob the place properly. Thanks to Eddie not being able to keep his mouth shut, two low-level knuckle draggers have to be brought in on the action, but one of them backs out at the last minute for fear their boss finds out and has them killed. The night the robbery is about to go down, another pair try to hold the place up, but the cops have been tipped off and are waiting.
The plan is put off but Eddie is determined to go through with it. The eventual haul adds up to $16 million but only half of that is ever recovered. There are drug deals going on as well as the robbery, helping to add even more to this exciting action thriller. At the end of the movie, we see a very quick interview with the real Chris Potamitis. Good acting, good direction and a very good story, all with a budget of $11 million. Dwayne Johnson has turned into a decent actor, especially in the likes of Fast & Furious 6, but he doesn’t really get a chance to flex any muscle, let alone acting muscle. Liam Hemsworth does OK but Michael Angarano (The Brass Teapot) as Eddie was very convincing. I’m pretty sure this will be popular, and rightly so, because it’s a very entertaining, and fun movie to watch.