It’s always upsetting to see a director and an actor do much worse than you know they can do, and have indeed seen them do.
Just the other day I was watching “A Guide to Recognising Your Saints,” a charming and gripping coming of age story about living in poverty and oppression, which was written and directed by Dito Montiel some years ago as his directorial debut. And now, almost a decade later, we get this, a thoroughly uninspired and boring by the numbers action piece. Such a waste.
Empire State is supposedly based on a true story, about two friends, one of them played by Hemsworth in this film, who rob an armored money collection van, and are then hunted down by a police detective played by Dwayne Johnson. I’d say this about Dwayne, he appears in a lot of rubbish films, but when he does he’s usually the best part of it. He has an energy and charisma that makes me momentarily care about whatever dreck he’s appearing in, but its usually not enough to work for long.
Empire State is just lazy, and it’s worse because it had talent behind it from every angle. For me, this movie is exactly what you get when movies are just a job you do, rather than something you put creative effort into. We get it, some days you don’t care about going to the office and punching the numbers, and you phone it in a little. But in most professions, you don’t spend millions of dollars doing that and then show your resultant laziness to the world at large.