When it comes to heist movies, I am not the most well-versed. What I am well-versed in is how to tell if an action/crime movie entertained me or not. The punchline is that Triple 9 is one of the most boring, forgettable, overdone, and unengaging action movies I have ever watched! Just to clarify, it is not one of the worst movies I have ever seen (really, I have seen so much worse), but for what it is, Triple 9 is very subpar.
Triple 9 is directed John Hillcoat who directed The Road, which was fine (granted, I saw it before I developed my critiquing skills), but just like Peter Sohn with The Good Dinosaur, Triple 9 feels like it was made by a first-time director who had no idea what he wanted his movie to be. Initially, I was going to see Gods of Egypt, but after watching Chris Stuckmann’s (extremely hilarious) review, I reconsidered and watched-the somewhat promising-Triple 9 instead. The basic plot is that some crooked cops and criminals pull off dangerous heists for Russians, gangsters, and in a few special cases, for their own personal purposes.
For what it’s worth, this movie does have some outstanding sound editing, a unique score, one or two decent action sequences, and some convincing chemistry between Casey Affleck and Anthony Mackie. You may be shocked to hear this, but I don’t think that this cast was properly utilized. From Chiwetel Ejiofor to Woody Harrelson, to Kate Winslet, none of these talented actors even come close to what they can do. It doesn’t help that the script could not be more bland if it tried. I shouldn’t have to say this (you guys trust me right?), but I pay attention to movies when I’m in the theater and Triple 9 was no exception. However, because the story is so bogged down with subplots and characters, I found it more confusing than Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (and that movie was nothing but unnecessarily complicated storylines)! The worst thing about the story is the fact that there is no real protagonist. Mostly every character in the movie is either: crooked, evil, or unlikeable. I think the “hero” was supposed to be Ejiofor or Affleck, but if that is the case, the writer did a terrible job getting of me to care about them, and sebsequently, this movie drags on. Oh yeah, the pacing of this movie is abhorrently slow. It’s 2 hours long, but felt like 3. Interstellar was actually 3 hours long, but felt like 2 because it had interesting ideas, eye-catching effects, and characters I cared about.
Don’t watch this movie. If you want a white-knuckling thriller, watch Identity. If you want a dramatic crime movie, watch Se7en. If you want an entertaining action movie, watch Mad Max: Fury Road. Triple 9 gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a D.