TRIPLE 9 (2017)

Directed By: John Hillcoat 
Written By: Matt Cook 
Cinematography By: Nicolas Karakatsanis 
Editor: Dylan Tichenor 

Cast: Chiwetel Ejofer, Casey Affleck, Norman Reedus, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Woody Harrelson, Clifton Collins Jr., Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer, Michael K. Williams, Michelle Ang, E. Roger Mitchell 

A crew of dirty cops are blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.

The film feels like the story should have added up to something bigger and more meaningful. Like how each character was a puzzle piece as we wait to see how eventually they will all fit together. This is clearly a manly man film that drips of machismo though for all of it’s toughness it does take time to actually show the complexities of the situations they have found themselves in. As this is a heist film beautifully filmed but feels like a typical caper film only done more slowly and supposedly intricately. As the crew seems more forced and involves working for the Russian mob.

The film Doesn’t really highlight or fetishize the heists as much as other films. Here it is more done matter of fact. This film seems to care more about the characters involved.

The film doesn’t even seem too involved in what was the initial hook of the film. Where the cops in order to pull off a robbery plan on killing a fellow cop to distract all other police from them Pulling off a heist. Though with so many things going on in the film that all Lead to one another eventually and come to a head. Seems more realistic but also makes everything on the same level and never really that high up.

Even though most of the time it seems Chiwetel Ejofer as well as a few other characters seem to constantly be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Where it also seems the people who put them up for these robberies want them To fail as their actions seem to more sabotage them.

While the film comes off as more of an ensemble film. It also leaves a bunch of premonitions in certain characters words and actions and also while taking place in Atlanta’s it is unfortunate that while the film gives the most of characters a certain humanity. It also has most of the minority characters be criminals not necessarily evil but they seem more subordinate and characterized as the bad guys. Where as the more heroic characters of which there are only really 2 are both Caucasian though Woody Harrelson’s character isn’t the most moral he is seen as one of the good guys.

The film never truly explains the relationship between Chiwetel Ejofer and Gal Gadot’s Characters since they have a child but are they still together. Is she being dangled in front of him by her sister. Are they seperated?

Kate Winslet seems to let her outfits and make up do most of the work as she is given less to do and more exists as a presence, but clearly is having fun vamping it up more or less. She seems to be slumming here or more like a case of stunt casting. Replacing Cate Blanchett

The film stays within the films of director John Hillcoat’s usual films with pitch black stories and violent ends with characters who lore or less feel loved in. As next to LAWLESS, this is probably his most commercial film. He tends to make films that are more filled with agressions and machismo real manly men type films.

This film feels longer than it should and could easily have been shortened. As it feels like a film full of character and characters who get short changed more due to plot mechanics that while introduced in a different way feel way too familiar. The double crosses are expected but the triple crosses feel unexpected.

Woody Harrelson has fun with his role as a detective who while is no stranger to bending the rules he still manages to be a strong moral character. As he seems to have let the job get to him. Though as a veteran he also treats it more trivially. Replacing Jeff Bridges.

Casey Affleck as the new guy comes off on bit is handed a kind of bland good cop character. He was actually cast after both Shia Lebouf, Chris Pine and Charlie Hunnam dropped out of the film.

The film tries to be more about mood and atmosphere but never comes off that strong nor does it ever seem to find that right tone. As it almost tries to come off as a modern-day western but not one where you are expecting the gunfights. One that is more about bravery and strength of moral and character not to mention loyalty

Grade: C

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