John Hillcoat directs Triple 9, following a group of corrupt cops and members of the mob as they plan to pull off a daring heist by triggering a ‘Triple 9’ code, the film stars Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Norman Reedus, Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Triple 9 is very… gritty and you get that right from the get go with how things start off, giving the audience a taste of what’s to come, this isn’t your average police/crime drama and you find that how quickly enough, if you didn’t already know what the premise was before you started watching the film. And as unbelievable as the set up may seem in this day and age, it’s still something different and an alternative type of crime drama, though things proceed fairly predictably from the first act onwards as the corrupt cops try and go about getting a ‘Triple 9′ code, which is police code for an officer being down in duty and such a code will bring all available cops to the scene and draw them away from duty.
The problem with the story isn’t in it what it tries to achieve but in the way it’s told and conveyed, honestly it’s just really, surprisingly dull in fact in comparison to how good the film looked in trailers leading up to its release and with such a great cast, you’d expect some more dynamism and life in the plot but it’s not quite present. Though some action scenes and certain set pieces are well done and quite tense but are very few and far between, dotted through a lot of dialogue and exposition, the plot could definitely have benefited from some more action and tense set pieces as this is something John Hillcoat excels in directing.
That being said, there are some good performances present, Chiwetel Ejiofor is great as Michael Atwood, on both sides of the law but seemingly just wanting good things for his child, while Casey Affleck makes a really believable newbie cop trying to just do the right thing, finding himself in a not so great situation.
Anthony Mackie is also pretty solid as Marcus Belmont, partner to Afflecks’ Chris Allen but outside of these performances, none necessarily stood out, mostly because the other characters just didn’t have that much to do, Aaron Paul was pretty wasted in my opinion and Norman Reedus definitely was, which was disappointing. Also seeing more about the characters, their motivations and reasons why they ended up in the situations they were in would have helped in allowing me to empathise with or care about them, rather than just seeing a bunch of people doing things without knowing that much about them. I get the feeling that the story just wanted to go at 100 miles per hour without much explanation, thrusting the audience into the plot but without some necessary set up I feel
Triple 9 had some great ideas but ultimately it just didn’t quite go anywhere interesting with its initially intriguing premise, it has a great cast of acting talent but doesn’t really utilise them all to a satisfying degree.
. Plot doesn’t progress in an interesting direction
. Has a great but underused cast
. The ending feels rather abrupt, inconsequential