Triple 9 is a ‘cops and robbers’ film with a twist, that being that most of the characters here are both cops AND robbers. There are mitigating factors which justify their nefarious activities of course – with that nasty Russian mob pulling the strings of many – but the fact is that the film opens and closes with audacious heists pulled off by guys who would ordinarily be responsible for preventing such things
In between these sequences is much politicking and postulating, with the various bad cops agreeing that the only way to complete this One Last Job successfully necessitates the death of One Innocent Cop.
With good and bad cops operating side by side the Heat and The Departed comparisons are inevitable but flawed. The set pieces in Triple 9 aspire more for a Sicario feel (but fail), and the film does not build tension effectively enough to lend gravity to the dramatic performances.
The readily recognisable names in the cast near the double digits. Suffice to say if you count a vaguely credible TV show among your faves there’s every chance one of the stars pops up here. Unfortunately none of the recognisable faces do enough here to demand your attention and prove big screen star power, which leaves probably the two with the most runs on the board, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson, as the guys who demand attention.
Triple 9 is the casino buffet of a film. It knows it doesn’t have the primo ingredients or a signature dish, so it tries to wow with volume and a vast array of choices. The fact remains though that to even be standing in a casino buffet line, or by choosing Triple 9 over the films mentioned above, the decision to make do with less has already been made. All that remains is to dig in and tell yourself that it could be worse… and in this case you would be right, Triple 9 is by no means great, but it certainly could have been worse.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. Good cop, Bad cop, Same cop. I’ll dub it worthwhile, but only because of Affleck and Harrelson.