Triple 9 centres around a four-man gang of ne’er-do-wells, headstrong Mike (Chiwetel Ejiofor – Doctor Strange, The Martian), junkie Gabe (Aaron Paul – Need For Speed, Central Intelligence) and two corrupt cops, Marcus (Anthony Mackie – Captain America: Civil War) and Franco (Clifton Collins Jr – Pacific Rim), plus driver Russell (Norman Reedus – Death Stranding).
They’re tasked with a dangerous armed robbery job for dodgy Russian Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet, doing a dodgy Russian accent) and now are forced to do a second one if they want to get paid, because she’s a dodgy get, you see. It’s far more complicated so they’ll need ten minutes to do it, which is no good if the cops would respond after three. Hence, they’ll need to create a diversion with a 999 call (hence the title), which can only be achieved by giving the rozzers an ‘officer down’ call to go to, taking all the cops away from their location and giving them plenty of time to do the necessary. But are the dodgy cops dodgy enough to carry this out? And how many times can I write the word dodgy in a review that doesn’t reference the ’90s British pop band “Dodgy”? Oh, I just did.
Amongst all this, there’s gang warfare going on in an estate not too disimilar in the projects you expect in The Wire, all leads go back back to a big Russian bloke called Vassili, and the gangsters’ bodies are full of silly tattoos that look like a kid’s been let loose on them with a whole pack of biros.
Naturally, while they were very organised first time round, nothing goes to plan on the second job, and on their tail is erudite Chris (Casey Affleck, Marcus’ unwitting partner), old-timer and drunk & doped-up Jeffrey (Woody Harrelson), and bringing up the rear, Trina Ling (the stunning Michelle Ang).
Oh, and there’s a side role for Wonder Woman, aka Gal Gadot, but I still preferred Ms Ang.
Triple 9 is great entertainment in the main, although the near-two-hour running time means it slows down in the mid-section and could’ve lost around 15-20 minutes. However, at one point where you see some severed heads, they actually *look* like severed heads, not like most filmmakers’ idea of severed heads, which usually look like something from Huaying Mountain Wax Museum in Sichuan, China – the one where celebrities look the complete opposite of what Madame Tussauds managed to achieve.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and it does exactly what you’d expect for a modern film. The print is sharp and the Georgia locations are well-chosen to bring the required grittyness to the screen.
The audio is presented here in DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio, and it comes into its own when the leads are on the job, with some great split-surround FX.
The extras are as follows, but aren’t exactly fantastic:
- Under The Gun (2:42): Brief and pointless made for TV mini-featurette to slot inbetween films on Sky Movies, mixing clips in with chat from the cast and crew. It’s so brief, it’s completely redundant.
- An Authentic World (2:41): Ditto.
- Deleted and Alternate Scenes (7:40): Four of them here, and I preferred the theatrical scene of the second one shown here, instead of this alternate one, but no spoilers here, obviously.
- Cast Interviews (41:08): 8 cast members, individually chaptered, but they’re all puff-piece Q&A-style pieces where the questions are posed in a list at the beginning of each actor’s segment, and you can then see their responses. It would’ve been better to show each question just before the response, but I’m not keen on this style of extra, anyway, as it doesn’t look at all natural. It’s just done to slot in as clips on Breakfast telly to suit their schedule.
The actors shown are Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Noeman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson and Kate Winslet.
Wot, no Michelle Ang? She was my favourite!
The main menu features clips from the film set against the theme. There are subtitles in English and chapters amount to 16, which is better than most releases out there, but I never say no to more. Still, since I personally prefer one approximately every five minutes, this is close enough.
Running time: 116 minutes
Released: June 27th 2016
Studio: Entertainment One
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: John Hillcoat
Producers: Marc Butan, Bard Dorros, John Hillcoat, Anthony Katagas, Keith Redmon and Christopher Woodrow
Screenplay: Matt Cook
Music: Bobby Krlic, Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross and Claudia Sarne
Michael Atwood: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chris Allen: Casey Affleck
Marcus Belmont: Anthony Mackie
Jeffrey Allen: Woody Harrelson
Gabe Welch: Aaron Paul
Irina Vlaslov: Kate Winslet
Elena Vlaslov: Gal Gadot
Russell Welch: Norman Reedus
Michelle Allen: Teresa Palmer
Sweet Pea: Michael K Williams
Franco Rodriguez: Clifton Collins Jr
Trina Ling: Michelle Ang
Joshua Parks: Terence Rosemore
Leah Green: Terri Abney
Ben Feldman: Alexandr Babara
Yussel Gotlib: Anthony Belevtsov
Luis Pinto: Luis Dasilva
Gomez: Ian Casselberry
Smith: E Roger Mitchell
Felix: Blake McLennan