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Triple 9 Is a Gritty Action Cop Flick

Updated on October 14, 2019
Robert J Sodaro profile image

Robert J. Sodaro is an American born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist, who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

Triple 9

A very watchable "bad cop" film.
A very watchable "bad cop" film. | Source


Triple 9:R“ (1 Hour 55 min.)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Norman Reedus, Woody Harrelson

Directed by: John Hillcoat

Bad Cop, Worse Cop

Not all cops are bad, but both of these guys are.
Not all cops are bad, but both of these guys are. | Source

The story

To be upfront, while we are not so much a fan of dirty cop films, we do have to say that we really did find Triple 9 not only a compelling, but a gripping and thoroughly watchable film. The story follows a crew of dirty cops that is being blackmailed by the local Don of the Russian mob who wants them to accomplish a virtually impossible heist. The cops realize that the only way to pull the heist off is to manufacture a 999, which is police code for “officer down”. However, their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to be killed, inadvertently foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.

Triple 9 Trailer

The Set-Up

Set in Atlanta, the crew of corrupt cops consists of detectives Marcus Belmont (Mackie), Franco Rodriguez (Clifton Collins), and Gabe and Russell Welch (Reedus and Aaron Paul), and Terrell Thompkins (Ejiofor) an ex-special forces operator turned private sector. As the film opens they are taking down a highly fortified bank in broad daylight. Even though the job comes off (mostly) without a hitch, and they acquire what they were sent to retrieve, the woman they are working for Irina Vaslov (Kate Winslet), is not completely satisfied with them and requests just one more job.

The Heist Goes Down

When cops go bad.
When cops go bad. | Source

It all Goes Bad

Much to his dismay, Terrell is forced to do her bidding as she holds his family hostage and is forcing him to do her bidding (Terrell is married to her sister, and restricts Terrell’s visitation to his son). Now she wants him and his crew to rob a Special Forces safe house that contains secret government files which she will use as leverage to get her husband out of a Russian prison. So now the crew has to figure out a way to successfully break into the safe house without getting caught or triggering alarms which would summon the entire police force. What they settle on is manufacturing a 999.

Here Comes the Russian Mob

Here come the really bad, bad
Here come the really bad, bad | Source

Going after the Bad Guys

They determine that the only way to get in and out safely, is to set up the police code for officer down, in order to use it as a distraction during their heist. The thought is that a 999 call on the far side of town from the safe house would drag all the cops in the city to the other side of town giving them time enough to pull the job. The decision as to who to sacrifice becomes easier when Marcus acquires a new rookie partner, Chris Allen (Affleck) as the crew determines that he is the ideal target. Unfortunately for the crew, Chris survives the attack, and begins to suspect who the dirty cops might be. Meanwhile the police chief (Woody Harrelson) begins to track down the Russian Mob completely apart from their involvement with his Detectives, and begins discovering evidence of corruption among the cops on the force. The pressure really starts escalating as the crew begins to turn on each other each revealing their own dark secrets, all of which leads up to a treacherous, action-packed finale which is well worth the payoff of the film.

Could These be Cops?

Wait, is that Daryl Dixon?
Wait, is that Daryl Dixon? | Source

It's all in the Writing

Writer Matt Cook has delivered a powerful script, full of twists and turns that keep the viewer in the dark, slowly revealing each story element one morsel at a time, so as not to give too much away too early. The story is revealed in the naturel, organic use of plot and dialogue, never merely extemporizing so as to move the plot forward. Even the ending completely comes out of what occurred prior, and is not simply a plot device to end the film at a specific running length so as to wrap things up before the credits roll, and the theater can get one more showing before the end of the night.

Look, Finally, a Good Cop!

Wait, is that  Woody Boyd?
Wait, is that Woody Boyd? | Source

Triple 9 - Official International Film Trailer

Go Watch this Film

So yeah, if you are in the mood for a gritty, layered, explosive, tale of flawed men doing bad things, then this is the film for you.

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro


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