True Action: Empire State
Are you ready for some True Action? The feature that takes a look at movies based on actual events.
In this installment of True Action I’m going to take a look at the 2013 direct to video movie, Empire State.
- The Movie: Chris Potamitis (Liam Hemsworth) is a young man with dreams of entering the police academy… unfortunately years earlier, he and his friend Eddie (Michael Angarano) were busted for smoking pot at a Black Sabbath concert. This went on his permanent record and that one blemish denied him a chance to be a cop like his father was back in the old country (Greece). So Chris gets a job working for Empire New York Securities, an armored car company. After his partner is shot and killed during an attempted armored car heist, Chris is made the night watchman at Empire. Chris quickly learns how lax the security is around Empire and that knowledge combined with some seedy friends, lead up to Chris and his co-conspirators pulling off the biggest cash robbery in United States history. This beat out the infamous Lufthansa heist from Kennedy International Airport that was a big plot point of the classic film, Goodfellas. And let me just go out on a limb here when I say, my guess is none of the actual cops involved in bringing down Potamitis and his crew looked anything like The Rock.
- The True Story: Chris Potamitis was not denied entry into the police academy due to smoking pot at a Black Sabbath concert, he actually failed the entrance exam. He did pass the State Troopers exam, but was on a waiting list to get into the academy. And while he waited he got a job at Sentry Armored Car Company. In the movie, Chris Potamitis and his co-conspirators are arrested shortly after the heist, but in actuality it took several months before they were arrrested after one member of the group spilled the beans. Potamitis was actually in Puerto Rico with his girlfriend at the time on vacation when they finally caught up to him. The trial lasted two months and he was given a maximum sentence of 15 years. He would be released from prison in 1991.