This is by no means an original concept but a great movie doesn’t have to be the most unique thing under the sun (although it doesn’t hurt). This is familiar territory presented in a way that takes the already seen and makes it feel just as fresh and entertaining as ever. A definite strength to Triple 9 is the cast featuring talent like Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, and Norman Reedus.
Triple 9 is an unforgiving jaunt into the genre of cops and robbers (and murderers) and by the end you feel as though the very “face” of the city these character inhabit has been forever altered. Dirty cops and even dirtier criminals clash and blend until badges mean nothing more than an opportunity waiting to be exploited. A tale of every man for themselves is the overall premise with this film and there is no love between them.
John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Proposition, The Road) directs a stellar cast in an action epic that has something most films shy away from and that is being fearless. No one is safe here despite where their name is placed on the film’s poster. Blood and mayhem envelope a city seemingly void of heroes as corruption plagues this weakened metropolis to the point of almost pure lawlessness. It would almost be wiser to avoid dialing 9-1-1, chances are in this city the cops are worse than the criminals.
The film’s greatest weakness is the forgettable characters. They are cliche, shells of people that we’ve seen a million times before. The noble, honest police officer with a loving family waiting for him at home, the veteran detective with a nose for picking up what most walk passed, the criminal with ethics and rules that he refuses to break and their inevitable clash of bullets and body bags. You’ve seen Triple 9 before.
However I can’t say this enough, just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done again and just as well. I will say that I’m a sucker for violent, unforgiving stories where the outcome isn’t always sunny with a side of providence and in this regard Triple 9 is a real triumph. Car chases, gunfights, and betrayal all executed in a gritty and bloody manner. This is nothing more than a wrong turn into deplorable behavior for the sake of having a good time being naughty. And just our luck, these characters thrive on being wretched.
Visually speaking the strength comes from the city of Atlanta. The steamy, uncared for backstreets are the setting to match its equally detestable inhabitants. These are awful people living in parts of a city that have gone to hell and with each bullet fired and every ounce of blood spilled, the color and beauty of this city are swallowed little by little.
Triple 9 is simply a lot of fun and isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. It’s not out for awards and the performances are adequate. This is about the action and the outcome of betrayal of one’s self, one’s friends and family, and even one’s city. It is about life catching up with all of us no matter how hard you may run and how well you hide, it will find you and as this movie showcases, life is a real bitch sometimes.
Rated R For: strong violence and language throughout, drug use and some nudity
Runtime: 115 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Action
Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus
Directed By: John Hillcoat
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 3.5/ Visuals: 4.5
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
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