Director: John Hillcoat
Cast: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray & DVD May 31, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
A bank robbery is just the tip of the iceberg when two cops in Atlanta begin suspecting that members of their own team are involved. Not knowing whom to trust and how deep the corruption goes, the clock is ticking as they try to uncover the truth — before they become the target for the next deadly job.
‘Triple 9’ follows a string of daring armed robberies from the viewpoints of the cops investigating the crimes, as well as the criminals themselves whose ranks happen to include a few dirty cops within. As tension mounts and suspicion begins to arise of involvement within the precinct, a veteran detective struggles to piece together the evidence and hints, while those responsible are reluctantly forced to pull another dangerous and this time seemingly impossible job. Before long they realize the only way they stand any chance of pulling off the job is to distract the cops with a 999 call of an officer down. Now the only question remains whether they can kill a cop and successfully pull off the heist before the detective beginning to make sense of the ordeal finally connects the dots.
Directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) from a script by Matt Cook which marks his feature length screenwriting debut, Hillcoat does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Triple 9’ guiding the film along with a perfectly suited tension and constant sense of unease. The film also benefits tremendously from the incredibly talented individuals comprising the cast including Casey Affleck (The Finest Hours), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Civil War), Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games), Aaron Paul (TV’s Breaking Bad), Kate Winslet (Titanic), Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim), Norman Reedus (TV’s The Walking Dead), and Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious) among others, the majority of whom deliver truly impressive performances (if not entirely capable at the very least) in each of their respective roles.
‘Triple 9’ is a perfect example of a fantastic crime drama and the type of quality action thriller we don’t seem to see nearly enough of these days. It wonderfully interweaves the interactions and intentions of some incredibly different, yet also surprisingly similar individuals as they operate within the dangerous streets of Atlanta where sometimes your friends can just as easily end up being your enemies. Gritty, realistic and at times almost uncomfortable as a result of the tension which begins right from the outset with the opening credits which play out during a tense robbery that concludes with a gunfight on a public street and only continues to escalate from there. Guided with terrific vigor by director John Hillcoat and featuring a cast that includes some of the most talented individuals working in film today, ‘Triple 9’ is an outstanding film and one intense ride from beginning to end that I cannot recommend highly enough to those who appreciate a well constructed crime drama, or simply quality filmmaking.
Overall, ‘Triple 9’ is an intense, brutal and realistic crime drama that delivers on every level. Filled with unique and believable characters and brimming with tension from the opening sequence and maintaining that fitting sense of unease until the final moments, this is a crime thriller done with care and even more importantly, done right. Guided impeccably by the talented John Hillcoat and complimented by a powerhouse cast including a number of astonishingly talented actors, ‘Triple 9’ is one fantastic ride that you won’t want to miss out on, it easily earns one of my highest recommendations.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Triple 9’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful, delivering a suitably gritty, yet consistently sharp, detailed and colorful presentation with no notable faults of any kind to be found within. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences, not to mention the often jerky camera style, while never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds great and contributes an additional layer of tension to the film, utilizing all five available channels to fully immerse the viewer with the score and a fair amount of gunplay and other action related auditory effects, along with some crowd chatter and more, yet never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Triple 9’ includes a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 8 minutes in total), along with a couple of brief Behind the Scenes Featurettes including interviews/comments with the cast and crew. The included Featurettes are: ‘Under The Gun’ (approximately 3 minutes), and ‘An Authentic World’ (3 minutes).