Of all the new movies that came out this week, this was the one I was looking forward to the least. Not one moment in the trailer did I think the story would take me by surprise or even really interest me. Granted, the cast was enough to at least not get me to groan about watching it. Casey Affleck’s a decent actor, lord knows I’m a fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Winslet, and the rest of the cast is pretty cool too. The comparison that I’ve heard the movie’s been compared to is TRAINING DAY… which I’m sad to say I’ve never seen, but a movie about dirty cops is nothing new. But hey, maybe the cast will save this overly recycled premise. This is my honest opinion of TRIPLE 9.
The story follows a group of ex-military guns for hire and crooked cops working for a Russian crime boss. After completing a job on her behalf, she refuses to pay them and extends a second job to them. Hesitant, they agree and come up with a plan that will involve killing another cop. Their target happens to be one of the crooked cop’s new partner, who just wants to do good and make a difference. But as drama rears its ugly head and uncertainty plagues the group, plans slowly become more complicated.
Could you follow my summary? If you couldn’t, it’s not an accident. Twice now I’ve tried to sit through this movie. The first time, I had an excuse. I was slightly drunk and it was my third film of the night. I was tired and fighting to stay awake throughout the second half of the movie. I have no excuse this time. I kept my alcohol consumption to a… less intense, I wasn’t exhausted from work, and now I have only one thing to say: it’s BORING.
What a god-awful waste of such amazing talent. I mean, seriously, look at that cast! But how are they utilized? BY MAKING THEM DO JACK SHIT!!!
Let’s start with the opening scene. Yeah, if we’re starting a rant on the first ten minutes, this movie’s not looking good.
The opening scene is basically a less impressive version of THE DARK KNIGHT. What’s even more embarrassing is that one of the bank robbers, played by Aaron Paul, takes a stack of money that is predictably rigged with that “money stolen from a bank” red coloring. These guys are later revealed to be ex-Navy seals (or some kind of military) and dirty cops. To put my next couple sentences into perspective, I am a twenty-six year old movie-goer, gamer, and frequent porn watcher. So… how is it that someone like ME would know that shit’s booby-trapped, but none of these highly trained bad-asses know that? I mean, who falls for that in this day and age??? Okay, granted, the money wasn’t their primary objective, it was a safety deposit box, but holy fucking shit, how can anyone be that fuckin’ stupid??? And Anthony Mackie’s commentary on his stupidity doesn’t make the movie any smarter. Furthermore, adding that red dye didn’t add anything to the story. It only served to establish that Paul’s character is an idiot and everyone in the group hates him. Doesn’t add to the plot at all, even when one of the dirty cops shows up to work with some of that red dye on his pant leg and he hides it. Yeah, after that scene, this all goes away and is never referenced again.
Now we get to the real problem of the movie. Let’s see if you, all of you intelligent human beings that I know you are but this movie thinks you aren’t, can figure out what the problem of the movie is as well just from my more depth explanation of the plot.
This group of guys were hired by a Russian crime boss, played by Winslet. She won’t pay the group until they complete a second job for her. What is this second job? Stealing files, or some shit. I don’t know, I read something like that in the subtitles. Doesn’t sound so complicated, right? These guys are probably going to tackle this job in a couple days, a week at most, right? And this’ll translate to maybe ten or fifteen minutes worth of screen time? Uh… no, they don’t tackle the job until the last thirty minutes of this two hour snore-fest. So what do they do to fill up that gap of time? An hour and a half of showing how Affleck is the new cop in town who wants to do good, and the dirty cops trying to keep it cool in the work place with no character development or connection to the audience. Seriously, that’s it.
The only real characters that are fleshed out are Ejiofor and Winslet, and even that’s being kind. Ejiofor’s character has a young son, who’s mother, played by future Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, is also Winslet’s sister. Winslet uses her nephew as leverage to get Ejiofor to do what she wants. At least we know what his motivations are. But Winslet? Why Ejiofor’s character? You’ve clearly got some competent and discreet henchmen at your disposal. Why can’t you use them? Even if you didn’t want to, what, you can’t find some other ex-military dudes on Craigslist? You know, someone who won’t be questioning and giving you headaches at every possible moment? And how is Gadot’s character okay with this? Her sister is using her son as a weapon to force her baby-daddy, whom her son loves, to do her bidding? You’re seriously going to convince me that there was NO talk of… you know, NOT doing that shit???
And those are the fleshed out characters. Mackie’s a cliche dirty cop who doesn’t want to work with a partner. He’s a street cop. He’s grizzled and hardcore. You can tell because he speaks low and deep while puffing on a cigarette. He gives no fucks about what you think- Jesus Christ, I’m pretty sure FAMILY GUY made fun of these stereotypes once! How have writers not evolved passed this kind of writing?!
And speaking of talking low and deep while smoking, EVERY BAD GUY CHARACTER DOES THIS!!! Every last one of them! It’s amazing. Fucking God, I felt like I was getting an asthma attack from all the cigarette smoke in those fucking scenes! Oh, but of course the only guy in the entire cast who isn’t smoking is the rookie cop that just wants to make a difference and do his job right. Oh yeah, this bad-ass mother fucker chews gum. Whoa now, bitches! We got a gum chewer! I think we can all figure out who’s really butch in this movie! Piss off, you pansies, no one can stop the power of trident layers and minty fresh breath! Please note my sarcasm… and like every character smoking in every scene, Affleck’s character is constantly chewing gum in every scene. It’s almost as annoying as the smoking.
But never mind these characters and their irritating ticks. What does the movie do to get the audience invested in them? What do we really know about these characters? Nothing. Not a damn thing. The audience is given no reason to give any sort of fucks over who lives and who dies. Everyone’s an asshole or an annoying bitch.
The center focus of the movie SHOULD have been the development between Affleck and Mackie, as part of the bad guys’ plan to steal the files involves killing a cop, which they brand Affleck as the unlucky dude. Over time, we see that Affleck and Mackie become friends, but we don’t see enough of Mackie’s internal struggle over being the one who has to kill his own partner in the future. There’s no drama, no build-up, it’s just ninety minutes of filler to get to the end, which isn’t very exciting.
And there’s so many questions in the damn movie. What was in that safety deposit box that was so important to Winslet? What are these files that she needs Ejiofor to steal? Who do these files belong to? Why are THEY so important to her? None of that shit is explained and because of that, the plan to have a cop killed ties in very loosely, and therefore, we don’t fully understand what the hell is going on.
You know what, I’m tired. I’m too mentally exhausted from ranting about this movie and… there’s so much more I want to complain about, but you lovely readers have lives to get to. So I’ll just close off and ask the question some of you may be asking: “is there ANYTHING good in this movie?” Er… Michael Kenneth Williams plays a transvestite rather convincingly.
Yeah, this was a terrible movie. Like every other dirty cop movie, it hits all the cliches and then some. The cast may be impressive, but if they’re not given good material to showcase their abilities, then what’s the point in hiring them? It’s a boring pile of schlock and should definitely be skipped.
My honest rating: 1/5