Triple 9 follows a group of corrupt policemen who commit bank robberies. After a heist doesn’t completely go to plan, Russian gang leader Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet) orders the group to pull of another one, to do which they plan to kill another cop (Anthony Mackie’s new partner, Casey Affleck) as a distraction.
The film starts strong with an explosive and fast-paced opening heist sequence full of tension, twists and excitement. However, it doesn’t maintain this momentum, instead losing itself in a confusing plot (especially in its ending) often full of prominent holes. Certain action sequences are executed excellently, however the confusion of the rest of the story leaves most of the scenes surrounding these in a bit of a mess.
The all-star cast delivers as would be expected, with Winslet’s mob leader, despite having relatively little to do, being a particularly outstanding performance amongst the ensemble. The cast sells the moments well and holds a good chemistry between them making their relationships believable
One of the John Hillcoat’s obvious reference points is Michael Mann’s Heat, and despite moments being reminiscent of its tone, Triple 9 never comes remotely close to reaching its hefty heights. The emulation of the 1995 hit only serves to damage a viewing of the film as opposed to elevate it as the comparison emphasises Triple 9’s flaws as opposed to celebrates its strengths.
Overall, Triple 9 is a decent thriller that had the potential to be a better one, but gets so lost in its own story and struggles to fully serve all of its characters that it’ll leave audiences more confused than exhilarated.