In view of its credentials, Armored should be a lay-up. The great cinematographer Andrzej Sekula (Pulp Fiction) gives it a tawdry, textured realism, and the pulsating score by Jon Gary Steele keeps it driving even when it's in idle. The cast of grizzled veterans includes Jean Reno, Fred Ward, and Laurence Fishburne.
So how did things go so sideways? That pretty much boils down to the hodge-podge story, which, written by James V. Simpson and directed by Nimród Antal (Kontroll), takes a boilerplate armor-car heist staged by the cash-strapped guards (à la The Underneath or CrissCross) and fuses it with the warehouse hideout from ReservoirDogs.
The performers, headed by Matt Dillon and Columbus Short as the two jackers at odds when the plan goes awry, bite into their roles with fervor, but Simpson's dialogue flies like a flat-footed homage to Mamet or Tarantino.