Empire State review (DVD)

Empire State tells the true story of a wannabe cop, Chris (Hemsworth), who plans to steal from a armoured car depository despite the inclusion of an actual cop (the ever-so-inspiringly named) Detective Ransome (Johnson).

Opening with archive footage from the real-life news reports, the film flows through instantly recognisable American-Italian stereotypes and occasionally enticing set pieces while its 1982 New York City backdrop reminds you of its influences and aspirations (there tends to be a smell of Goodfellas with a dash of The Town).

Considering the potential of the cast and the story being told, Empire State should and could have been a lot better. However, a weak script and shaky acting overshadow the charisma of both Hemsworth and Johnson, the former is still building his repertoire while the latter seemed to be on autopilot (albeit still being a decent screen presence) for the majority.

Despite its rather short runtime of 94 minutes, Empire State takes a while to get going and lacks the intrigue needed to really invest in the story.

EXTRAS ★★ Featured on the disc are a full-length commentary with director Dito Montiel, three deleted scenes, a behind the scenes with the cast & crew and a featurette looking into the "mastermind behind the (film's climactic) robbery". Pretty run of the mill fare from contemporary DVD releases.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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