Empire State: Movie Review

For a film that touts to be based on a true story, “Empire State” feels to dumbed down and toned down to obviously be the real thing. What could have been an intimate and even scientific look into one of the biggest heists in U.S. history turns out stale, generic and completely devoid of any thrill that usually comes with films from this niche.

Christos “Chris” Potamitis (Liam Hemsworth) is a struggling to make ends meet. He recently lost his job when the bar he works ar closed down and his hopes of joining the NYPD is dashed due to a drug use crime he committed with his friend Eddie (Michael Angarano) during their younger years. Chris eventually finds a listing for a security guard job for a armored van service called Empire. In Empire, Chris discovers that security is extremely lapse to the point that the owners do not even count the money inside their vaults. When he and his partner gets involved in a shootout, Chris is demoted to the night shift. This is where he gets ideas on how to strike it rich with an inside job for the ages.

We have to say, “Empire State” is one out of whack film. First, this is obviously an extreme “loosely” based on a true story movie. The story and the characters utter stupidity is something to be seen to be believed. There’s this character who can’t keep his mouth shut and tells everyone how easy it is to rob Empire or how one scene involves two attempted thefts of Empire on the same night with cops being tipped off as well or how Empire itself does not increase security, even temporarily, after an attempted break-in. It’s crazy and at times, you feel that the film tries to be clever but does the complete opposite instead come execution time. Second, the cast was under-utilized and the acting was so-so. In fact, the film’s poster has Dwayne Johnson and Emma Watson featured but honestly, the former has few scenes and the latter even fewer scenes that we could easily count her lines throughout the film. Liam Hemsworth tried but fails to bring emotion and connectivity as the film’s lead. Overall, “Empire State” could have and should have been better. The true story is interesting enough but the big screen adaptation is a complete loss.

Rating: 1 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the first half of the film was okay. Ironically, this is also the part where the heist doesn't happen

Why you shouldn’t watch it:
- the story and its elements are stupid at best
- Liam Hemsworth struggles with keeping up as the lead

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