Triple 9 (2016)

Triple 9
Director: John Hillcoat
Writer: Matt Cook
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael Kenneth Williams, Clifton Collins Jr.
Seen on: 21.5.2016

Michael (Chiwetel Ejiofor) used to be in the special forces, but now he works as a private contractor. And currently he’s been contracted by Irina (Kate Winslet) who runs the Russian mob in Atlanta. Although Michael is not particularly happy with his assignment, she forces his hand to pull off an impossible heist. Together with his crew, a mix of dirty cops and professional criminals, they realize that the only chance they have to pull it off is if they kill a cop as a distraction for their heist. But things don’t go as planned.

Triple 9 was one of the quietest releases ever, especially considering cast and crew involved in the film. After having seen it, though, it seems pretty clear that they simply didn’t want to waste any more money on a movie that fails in almost everything.


Honestly, it’s a bit of a mystery to me what happened with this film. The assembled cast alone should blow anybody’s socks off, particularly in a film by Hillcoat who has very much delivered so far. But instead Triple 9 just doesn’t work and I mostly blame the script for that. One of the problems is definitely that it introduces way too many characters and it makes us care for practically no one. Michael seems like a likely candidate for audience sympathy, but he remains one note. The other likely candidate is Chris (Casey Affleck) but he is even flatter as a character than Michael and he makes some very stupid decisions – that always makes it harder to go along with somebody.

But okay, a film full of anti-heroes can still work. But when the plot is more concerned with twisting this way and that way instead of actually making any sense, well, at some point I just don’t give a fuck anymore.

triple9-1And while I enjoyed Kate Winslet as an evil mob Russian (although her Russian accent… better not go there), she seemed to be in a totally different, much hammier movie (that I probably would have enjoyed more). And I can’t say that I appreciated that she was the only woman in a film with such a big (and laudably diverse) cast who got any say in the action at all. The only other notable women – played by Gal Gadot and Teresa Palmer – pretty much fail the sexy lamp test.

I wish I had better things to report, but I don’t. The film is simply a waste of good people.

triple9-2Summarizing: Skip it.

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