Triple 9

"Good"

Triple 9 Review


After a post-apocalyptic dystopia (The Road) and Prohibition-era America (Lawless), Australian director John Hillcoat brings his edgy Wild West sensibilities to this gritty present-day heist thriller. The film is fierce and stylish, and utterly gripping even though there's the nagging sensation that nothing is happening under the surface. Thankfully, the actors add plenty of terrific texture to their characters.

It's set in Atlanta, where Terrell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leads his crew of thugs (Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus) through a riotously dangerous bank robbery. They're working for the cold-hearted Russian mobster Irina (Kate Winslet), who demands an even bigger heist before she'll pay them. Terrell has a child with Irina, so feels like he has little choice in the matter, but his team is made up of unstable hotheads and corrupt cops who have their own opinions. One of the cops also has a new partner in Chris (Casey Affleck), a tenacious good guy who's the nephew of a cynical detective (Woody Harrelson) who's just beginning to crack this case. So the gang decides to distract the city's police force with a triple 9, code for a downed officer, while they carry out their next elaborate robbery. The question is who will take the bullet.

Matt Cook's script is a bundle of mad twists and turns, usually the result of impulsive gang members who act without thinking. The tension is very high, as each person's morality is warped at every turn. All while Chris tries to remain upright in the middle of a storm he doesn't quite understand. Each character is up against a wall, ready to do whatever it takes to survive in a situation that is getting increasingly out of control. And without more subtext, or at least a sense of these people's back-stories, no one on-screen is very likeable.

Because of the excellent cast, it's easy to understand their motivations, but not the idiotic decisions they make or the way they relentlessly manipulate everyone around them. As the token hero, Affleck is too bullheaded to be sympathetic. Ejiofor anchors the film in the most complex, resonant role, although it feels oddly underwritten. Harrelson is solid as the wheezy but still sharp veteran. But the entire film is stolen by Winslet, playing brilliantly against type as the fearsome Irina. All of these people are so on-edge that there's real suspense in seeing who will loose their cool next. But without much depth in the characters or story, it's difficult to care what happens to them.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Triple 9:



Triple 9

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th February 2016

Budget: $28M

Distributed by: Open Road Films

Production compaines: Worldview Entertainment, Anonymous Content, Surefire Entertainment Capital

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: John Hillcoat

Producer: , Bard Dorros, , Keith Redmon, Christopher Woodrow

Starring: as Chris Allen, as Terrell Tompkins, as Irina Vlaslov, as Gabe Welch, as Russel Welch, as Elena, as Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen, as Marcus Atwood, as Michelle Allen, Clifton Collins, Jr. as Jorge Rodriguez

Contactmusic


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