Triple 9 (2016)

Triple 9 poster.jpg
Cop Crock

Director: John Hillcoat

Running Time: 115 Minutes
Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins, Jr, Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael K. Williams, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet

A gang of criminals and corrupt cops (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins, Jr) are blackmailed into performing an impossible heist by the Russian Mob (led by Kate Winslet, clearly relishing her role). The only way they can pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for a murdered officer. In their crosshairs, newly transferred officer Chris Allen (Casey Affleck).

John Hillcoat handles the tale with a brooding style, fitting the film comfortably alongside Atticus Ross' haunting score. While things are bookended by a pair of well-executed heists, particularly the opening one, the proceedings in-between are unable to match those highs.

It never feels like the ensemble are putting their faultless performances into actual characters, but rather outlines of what makes decent characters, with the necessary development left out or attempted in a rather feeble manner. Casey Affleck's left the most unfortunate, as his believable and sincere portrayal is gone into the archetype of that one good cop seen in films about dirty cops. What's worse is how his leading character never seems to affect the plot, merely acting as a plot device for the titular code.

John Hillcoat has the outline for an interesting thriller sorted, but is missing any of the material to become exactly that. If you go in expecting something close to Heat, expect disappointment, as Triple 9 is closer to Mildly Warm.