The Movie: 8/10
I don’t compare movies to one another, just in case you wonder how I come to the scores they get. I think of the experience of that movie in that moment and consider the whole of the genre/vibe/attitude it lives in. Triple 9 is high quality drama and action with that violent gritty edge I do tend to appreciate in a movie. It’s got the nerve to be bold and hard and commits to the bloody side of the world the characters live in. I like that. We meet part of our cast as they are doing a heist, stealing something from a box in a bank. It’s a precious operation and from the get go you know these dudes are not your standard thugs looking to get some cash. My husband Mr. www.Ascully.Com loves a good heist, or a bad one, or any for that matter and as soon as this one kicked in I was thinking “he must be loving this” and I was right:) It was powerful and well done and felt right. I don’t know how to explain, it just sucked me in to their story right away. I was curious and captivated by the bravado and the obvious alternative motive for these thieves. They were typical and that made me sit up in my comfy recliner and get involved.
We follow our gang of criminals just enough to find out the precious is because they are all some kind of law enforcement or in the military. I know, that can be a tired way to make a bad guy more interesting and in a lot of movies it seems forced and boring, but not in Triple 9. We get just enough information about each dude, their motivations, their personalities, to make it all fit. We do get to focus a bit more on one character who has the misfortune of having a young son with the sister of a Russian crime boss’s wife. This is where the heist comes in. She wants stuff and this crew of trained professionals is willing to get it for her for a high price. Things can’t go wrong? Right? 🙂
She’s tough and has no mercy, which we find out in subtle kinds of ways like a couple duct taped and bloodied in the trunk of a car. We don’t see them get beat up. We don’t see our crime maiden do anything but stand elegantly with her arms crossed (See photo below) as her own personal thug tosses a bag of bloodied teeth into the trunk and close the door as the couple panic. We are never told their story, why they are in that trunk, but it makes a very good point…this woman is SERIOUS. This is why we know these dudes will do what she wants.
Everyone from Darrell (Walking Dead) to The Falcon (Avengers) is in this movie. The cast is excellent…..well….OK, not all excellent. I don’t want to pick on anyone so I’ll just say that an off-the-rails TV junky guy who is a bit of a misfit and has poor judgement (AKA Jesse from Breaking Bad) is the one thing in the whole movie that drags it down. Enough said.
I was so into this story that when it was time to, you know, take a break to go use the facilities I waited as long as I could. Crazy right? I mean, we have pause these days, and yet, and this is high praise for any movie, if I don’t even want to pause to do my business it’s pretty darn good! Don’t tell Hollywood that’s how I judge movies:)
I wanted to see what happened to each character, even the TV junky. I wanted to see their choices, and the consequences. Oh, and now it’s time to talk about Casey Affleck. Love him. He’s got an intensity about him that makes him scary and likable at the same time. He chews his gum in this movie, as if it’s the only way to release all the tension he’s got inside him but he knows he needs to behave like a normal human being. We are giving clues as to his past, a Marine who went to war, and from what we can tell has probably got a lot of issues to deal with. The thing about Affleck is that he’s controlled to the point of letting that out of control vibe show in his eyes. He’s was in the Marines and now he’s a police officer, so he’s stepped into and up against our gang of criminals with a certain understanding of what he’s up against.
Our Woody Harrelson is aging just right for me. He’s wacky and weird and if not for that silly slurring he does through parts of some scenes, he’s the heart of this movie. He’s Affleck’s uncle..oh did I mention that a theme of this movie includes the fierce protective instincts of an Aunt (Russian crime lady for the young son of the criminal) and an Uncle. They go to great lengths to protect the offspring of their siblings, but for very different reasons and in very different ways. I love that. Being an Aunt myself, well, they are right, I would die for my nieces and nephews, so that didn’t go amiss with me. Back to Harrelson, he’s just got a certain sadness and rotgut about him that makes him semi-repulsive and lovable at the same time. He’s been a clever cop in the past but now is on the decline, but he’s the voice of reason and taps into what’s going on before anyone else.
I can’t say enough good things about this movie. I know it’s not perfect and it’s not one of those that I came away from with a new perspective on the world or life or anything like that. It’s just a high quality drama with complex characters and it’s very well executed…with or without teeth in a baggie.
- Deleted Scenes (9 Minutes) – Four Deleted scenes entitled Michael’s First Kill, Jeffery Quits, Jeffrey Finds Out About Leah and Michael’s Death.
- Under The Gun (3 Minutes) – A look at the cast, characters and performances.
- An Authentic World (3 Minutes) – EPK style trailer with a couple of interviews from the cast.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 2/10
Seriously people, must we have these mindless boring covers? I am telling you now this does NOT compel me to see this movie. I don’t care who is in it and if I did I wouldn’t want to see a collage of their faces. We are not all idiots who are tempted by famous people. This movie has sooooo much good stuff you could use for imagery. There are amazing backdrops in the city, there is the conflict that involves corrupted cops, there’s bank robbing, anything would be more interesting than seeing their bland faces. I would not have this as a poster, but if someone makes a cool image for the movie I would consider it because it’s so good.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Triple 9 was shot digitally but for the untrained eye it easily passes for film. The movie is gritty as is the texture of the image which really brings the movie alive. Black levels are very deep sometimes a little to deep as fine detail gets lost in the shadows on occasion. The movie is very dark and very grim, and Universal’s transfer makes that atmosphere hit home.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track makes Triple 9 an amazing experience on Blu-Ray. From the opening heist you know this soundtrack will not disappoint with crisp bass and a lot of surround activity in the rear speakers. Gunfire makes up a lot of the movie and it’s really impressive when it happens, dialog is clear crisp and centered how it should be. Triple 9 might not be the top-tier audio/video presentation of this year but it does the movie justice and preserves the directors vision.
Overall Score 8/10