Triple 9 is a very good movie. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with it. In fact, everything it wants to achieve it does very well and each of the key elements it needs to create a decent movie are all there. It still leaves you slightly underwhelmed though.
You can tell the key ingredients are there because of the stellar cast that the movie attracted. Nobody would be ashamed to look back on this movie and it won’t be a blot on anyone’s career sheet. It pulls very good performances from the core cast, including Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul and Chiwetel Ejiofor. They all bring the expected level of commitment to the film but none of them are particularly tasked with any really heavy-lifting, except maybe Winslet and the forced Russian accent.
You can also see why the film attracted these stars. The script is very good. It doesn’t feel to generic and the twists and turns, the interlinked plot-points and the actual staged action is all delivered in a professional and quality way. You will be engaged and interested throughout, with the initial bank robbery and a police raid in a bad neighbourhood being two particular high points.
As professional and well-crafted as the film is, there is a feeling that you have already seen this before. Triple 9 has elements of crime genre movies, including but not restricted to The Departed, Training Day or The Town. These movies are excellent templates to work from but you can’t help feeling that sense of deja-vu when the story begins to unfold.
The idea of a Triple 9 and using it to commit a high stakes robbery is also a novel one but once the final act begins and the movie is forced to start tying up the loose ends it has created, anyone with even half an idea of movies involving cops and robbers will see the twists, double-crosses and key moments coming. Triple 9 falls into the unfortunate trap of predictability, which is a shame after all the other hard work it had achieved with it’s initial set-up.
Overall, Triple 9 is a solid, very good movie which utilises it’s star cast well, with an interesting story, well-staged action and some clever plot points. Unfortunately, once those key areas have been and passed, what you are left with is a film that is slightly too predictable and offering very little that you haven’t seen done before… and better.
Rating – 3.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)