Village Jam Factory - Monday 14 March 2016, 3:50pm
Running time: 115m
Country: United States
Classification: MA15+ (Strong violence and coarse language)
Release date: 3/03/16
Rating: 7/10 (ME 3/5, DP 4/5)
Opening at the scene of a violent bank robbery, Triple 9 proceeds to reveal the story of a brutal and efficient crime gang operating in Atlanta, Georgia. The gang happens to include a number of corrupt cops and they are all working at the behest of the Russian Mafia. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a standout as returned soldier (and now gang member) Michael Atwood, and Kate Winslet dazzles (and intimidates) as Irina Vlasov, the larger than life Russian mobster’s wife with AMAZING bouffant hair and bling. Following the bank robbery, Irina immediately black-mails them into their next more dangerous heist. At first the task seems almost impossible, but a light-bulb moment sees them thinking that the creation of a 9-9-9 scenario (police code for “officer down”) will give them a window of opportunity for success with the police force distracted and directed elsewhere. The unexpected problem becomes their choice of target for the shooting. Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) is a seasoned officer and he does not prove to be an easy target, with his instincts and skill providing all sorts of problems for the crime gang and causing many twists and turns along the way. The plan slowly unravels as Chris and his fellow police officer and (conveniently) uncle Detective Jeffery Allen (Woody Harrelson) start to investigate and the gang starts to disintegrate.
This is no award winner by any means, but it is a thoroughly entertaining, although at times gruesomely violent, crime drama. We see greed, lust, desperation and betrayal play out in many forms. There are obvious goodies and baddies, but none of the characters are particularly complex and indeed some are blatant caricatures. Sometimes things do get a bit confusing and you do have to think about who works for who and why people are doing certain things, but at these times it is best to just sit back to enjoy the grittiness and be absorbed by the tension. Go and take a look at it if you get the chance. It’s definitely not fun viewing, nor particularly original, but Triple 9 will certainly leave you satisfied that you’ve seen a decent, explosive, action-packed film. (DP)