The heist thriller Triple 9 was released earlier this year, with director John Hillcoat whose prior film has been the crime drama Lawless, and was written by Matt Cook.
The film is set in Atlanta, Georgia telling the story of a gang of thieves who are operating on behalf of the Russian Mafia ruled by matriarch Irina (Kate Winslet). The twist here though is that the gang are partly made up of corrupt police officers. As the gang attempt the leave their relationship with the mob, they are required to do one final job, which is of such a scale that they will require a large distraction to allow them enough time. It is in the development of this final heist and required distraction that the film largely centres.
The film has an impressive ensemble cast, with gang of thieves being led by Michael (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and also including Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, and Normal Reedus. In pursuit of these thieves is cop Woody Harrelson whose nephew Chris, Casey Affleck, has recently moved departments within the Atlanta police to join the gangs unit and is the new partner of Anthony Mackie’s character.
The film also includes smaller parts for Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Michelle Ang and Clifton Collins Jr.
There is a real feel of Heat around the film, in both the structure and filming of the heist scenes but in the weaving from the thieves and the cops seeking to understand what is happening.
However, and this is a big however, it isn’t Heat. Nor really is it close.
When you see the cast of this film, and then the set up of the idea, you’re rooting for this film to be really good. I genuinely found myself hoping for it to be great. But ultimately it never really manages to deliver against that promise.
The cast all deliver well, with notable mentions for Winslet who is excellent in her role, as are both Ejifor and Affleck. But aside from a couple of scenes, it never quite manages to create the tension that it is hoping for, and the later stages of the film feel disappointing.
In ‘heist’ terms, the score looked so promising, but it makes a bit of a mess of the getaway. Nothing wrong with it, but certainly not as good as you find yourself hoping for.
Triple 9 is available on streaming services or to rent / purchase now.
6/10 (probably somewhere between 6 and 7 if I was in decimals)