Empire State

Director: Dito Montiel, Main Cast: Liam HemsworthMichael AngaranoDwayne JohnsonEmma Roberts

Boy dreams to become a NY policeman but he ends up becoming a security guard for an armored car depository.  His dream in tatters, he decides to organise a heist at said depository with the help of his best pal, a petty criminal. Things get complicated, then messy and finally they spiral out of control. Michael Angarano’s performance and the characterisation of the Greek neighbourhood in Brooklyn are the only noteworthy things of the whole film. They reminds me of James Ransone’s character and the “Greek” connection in season 2 of The Wire; ironically, Ransone plays here an FBI agent while Paul Ben-Victor is the father of the lead and an ex-cop. For the rest…well, Liam Hemsworth has the emotional range of a flatworm, which makes me regret the absence of Channing Tatum, Montiel’s favorite actor, and it is something, because I’m really not a fan of the guy! Dwayne Johnson as the tough, good cop is utterly forgettable and Emma Roberts seems like she dropped in by chance. Montiel had a good idea but he comes up short. Wasted opportunity! Watch “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” instead.  —5/10

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