Thursday, April 21, 2016

Movie Review: TRIPLE 9

A great ride, one of those that reminds you why the police-crime drama genre has never, ever left the silver screen and why after decades it still remains as timeless and engaging as ever, why its potential for thrill is so high and when delivered right what it can achieve. Triple 9 certainly has some of that, it isn't by any means a revelation nor a revolution on the genre, but it is damn well worth its time.

Opening with a great bank robbery right up until the very last shot, the film never slows its rhythm down and has a tight pace which always keeps things moving and interesting. Thanks to a very well assembled cast we are introduced to a stack of characters that all have a distinctive beat on screen which helps enormously in keeping you up with the plot. These aren't certainly highly original characters and the ensemble is just as predictably cast, no one is surprising in a role or unpredictable, yet there really isn't any reason to complain for this since all of them are very committed and just flow in the movie without leaving space to the viewer for second thoughts. That being with the exception of Kate Winslet which is distractingly cast in a role that clearly doesn't belong to her, yet still she is so amazing she manages to own it, but the fact remains that every time she is on screen you are thinking that is Kate Winslet doing a Russian accent...why?

We also have to thanks director John Hillcoat for a very ambitious and complex staging. It is very strange to see this film receive such a mixed reception. I personally saw a lot going on and felt the passion Hillcoat brought to the project. There is a lot that can be said: the subtle use of red lights as a foreboding element, the incredibly perfect blocking and staging of action sequences, the very complex use of various camera movements that get molded into a very coherent tone, the understanding of the intricate plot that is presented to us in a very clear and visual way which makes the film very simple to follow even if there is a lot of interlacement between different characters and situations. Hillcoat does miss the mark in a few beats, one key towards the end where the editing is really off, but that's all and overall this is very well directed film, it is unfortunate to see it go so unnoticed.

Where is can be criticized a little more is in its writing. Don't get me wrong this is a enviable screenplay that I only wish I wrote, but looking it from a distance there are a few key elements that needed a final rewrite. The closing for one is a little murky and could have done with a little adjustment on characters being where they are and their motivations, it is also victim of the fact that there is a key beat in the film involving ironically code 999 that, whilst in the complex of the film it doesn't make things collapse, it still preserves a slight convenience about it that could have been easily solved in a rewrite. But that's it, this script is really tight and whilst a little by the book in its rounding of characters, it maintains a great complexity and momentum that are remarkable.

I really enjoyed myself, I had a very good dose of thrill and can't see why this film didn't find a wider appeal, I think that its very superficial to judge it a generic, because there is a difference between being generically clich├ęd and actually committing to what might look from afar as 'seen-before' stuff, whilst in reality there is loads to be processed and enjoyed.

James's Score: 7.5/10

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