If I told you I was going to see a film where the cast was so impressive that it included three former Academy Award nominees, another Academy Award Best Actress winner, another actor who was in three Academy Award nominated for Best Picture films, another actor who was in two Academy Award nominated for Best Picture films and another actor currently in one of the most popular and successful shows on cable TV ever, you probably would be wondering aloud who are these actors and secondly when is this movie coming out?
Well, to answer the first part of that question the cast included Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr., Norman Reedus (AKA “The Waking Dead”) , Teresa Palmer, Michael K. and Gal Gadot……………… Very Impressive huh? And now to answer the second part of that question, the film was released yesterday on Friday and it is called “Triple 9”.
“Triple 9” (police code for an office is shot – usually seriously) is a police thriller that takes place in current day Atlanta Ga. From the onset the director tries not to hide the basic fact his film’s core story is from the point of view of “a crew” of former military soldier’s, now big city cops who are just dirty to their very core. But their reason for being dirty is that they are blackmailed by a Russian Jewish Mafia Moll named Irina Vlaslov (Winslet), who is a former Israeli citizen now US citizen who runs a kosher meat processing company as a ruse for her illegal criminal activities.
Essentially, Irina Vlaslov is demanding “the crew” do something for her they can’t refuse, which is to execute a virtually impossible heist where she needs something at a heavily guarded US Homeland Security storage facility. The “crew” reluctantly decides that the only way to pull this daring heist off is to get all of the local Atlanta police moving away from their intended crime heist location by manufacturing a 999 police code for "officer down – killed”.
Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie (Affleck) who is designated to be killed take matters into his hands along with the help of his street smart police cop uncle (Harrelson) , setting off a breakneck action-packed, double-crossed, greed infuse and a twister of a revenge plot in the running time of 1:55.
MY REVIEW: “Triple 9” has some good moments that are titillating, compelling, edgy, dark and very gritty. And while it also has a well-executed shootout and car chase scene to keep you glued to your seat, its problem, should you be inclined to see something at the theater this weekend, it is heartless and it is murky gaudy incoherent heartless at that. Meaning? Well, you really don’t find yourself rooting for or against anyone because the director doesn’t really do a very good job of making the film concise and taunt and in the end you really don’t care what the ultimate conclusion will be when it comes, especially when you can pretty much see the ending coming a mile away.
Now if a somewhat over the top violent, blood soaked with some occasional well place gallows humor film is your thing, than “Triple 9” will do the trick. As it does not bore you for one minute from beginning to end. And while it has just enough moments of sanity that allows you to believe this story is a genuine possibility (almost), it will leave you feeling this was a whole lot of double cross effort for what?
I guess because I love crime films a lot and have been spoiled by the likes of some classic criminals and cops films like “Heat”, “Collateral”, “Training Day”, “Seven”, “The Departed”, “Man on Fire” and “Reservoir Dogs” to name just a few, “Triple 9” is like having a late night craving when your girlfriend calls saying she is coming over with your favorite pepperoni with extra cheese pizza only to find out she bought the pizza at the frozen food section at the local food store. It’s still pizza but just not as appetizing and delicious as you had anticipated it would be.
2 – 3/4 Stars