Length: 115 minutes
Main Cast: Kate Whislet
Produced By: Worldview Entertainment, Anonymous Productions
Directed By: John Hillcoat
Red Band Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN9evc4QXj4
Written By Nelson Cumming
After watching Triple 9 I am never going to take scriptwriting for granted again. This film has really taught me that you can have a talented cast, and some good action sequences but with a below-average script it can tone down an entire movie. Triple 9 has a slow and convoluted story that just goes on and on and on with an ending that is so abrupt at the wrong time. With all the effort Triple 9 puts in its action scenes I was so surprised there was little effort for the characters in terms of their involvement in the script and development especially for talent like Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Aaron Paul to name a few. My final rating on the positive side is based on two aspects. The first reason is the way the actors commit to these one-dimensional roles and the second reason is that some of the action sequences are well thought out and it was the closest I was involved in the movie. Those scenes actually built some momentum only for it to slowly dissipate then abruptly end. At the end of the day Triple 9 is a forgettable film with hints of good stuff in-between.
The premise of Triple 9 follows corrupt police officers and criminals that are doing deeds for a Russian Jewish gang. They hope to gain a huge payday with a major heist. I sort of got the premise when watching the film. It sounds so simple yet Triple 9 proves that it make something so simple seem so complicated. This was because they pulled all sorts of elements in together (the mob, gang members, corrupt cops and good cops) with slop pacing and mundane dialogue and it felt the film bit off more then it could chew. When adding complex elements in a film, it must have substance and storyline craft for it to work. If it doesn’t, don’t even try. At least Ride Along 2 kept it simple with a shallow script. It made it more watchable.
Oh and don’t worry there are more dull moments with characters with most of them corrupt, wasted, depressed and flat for variety despite the actors doing their best. Generally the corrupt African American cops sound and speak in the one tone and in the same vein. No one is happy in this film even the two cops are willing to try and stop evil and corruption. That alone doe not make a film bad, but if it doesn’t add anything to those themes or doesn’t give me a reason to care or feel injustice then it is just boring and depressing to see. However props to the actors for trying, you could feel them trying to bring a story to life and in one or two scenes, the story actually builds some momentum…
The action scenes are good. Not great, but very good. There is that one action scene that works very well and is by far the best scene in the film. All I am going to say about it is that it involves a riot shield. You will know it if you see it. It is intense, well shot, nicely directed and it got me from not interested to very interested quite quickly. There was nothing bad about the actual scene at all. This was only at the halfway point of this film and unfortunately the momentum slowly dissipated before the film’s abrupt ending. If Triple 9 could of built on top that one riot shield scene for fifty minutes and brought a satisfying ending, this film would have been great.
Overall we get a slow story and characters with lack of substance that is sort of patched up by good action sequences and decent acting. I cannot give this a positive review, nor can I really give this a negative one **1/2