A group of corrupt police officers are blackmailed into pulling off a seemingly impossible heist. They plot the murder of a rookie police officer in order to orchestrate a \“999\”, code for ‘officer down’, to pull off the heist across town.
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Gray's corruption. Cianfrance's unavoidable sadness. Mann's editing + worst cops vs honest thugs. Scott's Noir-ish lights and themes. Refn's tragedy + fallen heroes and edgy tunes. Coens' evil nemesis. Fucked-up daddies. A masterclass of acting by Dame Kate Winslet (puts any Mob Queen ever to shame) Broken Promises for Broken Hearts. Nintendo's a blast. Am-in-a-hurry rear-endings and the winner loses it all.
There's a longer director's cut out there somewhere, and I want to see it. "Triple 9" has an unwieldy assortment of complex subplots, some of which you're still puzzling over as the credits roll. Aside from being convoluted, it's excellent -- Hillcoat, ever in command of the grotesque, remains atmospherically and visually endearing, in the grimiest of ways. Not a weak link or sour note in the dynamite ensemble cast.
Serviceable police thriller set in Atlanta that mixes a tale of corrupt cops, high stakes robberies and the Russian mob with some success. 'A' list cast adds to the pedigree with mostly strong turns despite a miscast Kate Winslet. Hillcoat's direction is strong for the genre especially scenes involving the tactical units. Film unfortunately becomes more derivative and predictable as it goes along.
About halfway through "Triple 9," a police team engages in a tactical breach and shoot-out; it's the kind of expertly shot and edited action sequence that makes your stomach drop from the tension. In director John Hillcoat's stylish crime drama, the city of Atlanta serves as a hellish purgatory populated by adrenaline jockeys who just so happen to carry badges and the ghoulish bystanders caught in their crossfire.
The first real disappointment in Hillcoat's canon. The cast members who were good - Affleck, Harrelson - were squandered and undeveloped. The poor performances - such as Mackie, Paul, Ejiofor, and Winslet - dragged the pace down. The seedy underworld of organized crime (either Latino or Russian) was hardly touched. The most compelling scenes weren't even crucial to the story. What a mess. Stop writing, Matt Cook.
It's messy and should've been a good hour longer to enhance all the story threads, but its strong focus on the criminals (who are also crooked cops forced to do robberies) and the very idea behind its title makes it an intriguingly dark film for its type. Yet, the climax is contrived, and its finale is undercooked. Triple 9 would be much better if it had been more developed in its middle, with a meaner last act.