A Gritty Police Heist Film That Earns Its Bonafides
DIRECTED BY JOHN HILLCOAT/2016
Being that it is February, I had very little expectations for a gritty heist film featuring dirty cops and the Russian mafia. Other attempts have been made to have a spiritual successor to the gritty police drama Training Day, but most have fallen short. Most have come from Training Day director David Ayer. Films like Street Kings, Sabotage, and End of Watch have had varying amounts of success, but most have landed with a resounding thud. Now Director John Hillcoat, who brought us the gritty bootlegger drama Lawless, throws his figurative hat into the ring.
Lawless provides us a good template for Triple 9. Lawless had a stellar cast featuring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, and Shia LaBeouf. Triple 9 does much the same and features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, and Kate Winslet.
First time feature length film writer Matt Cook delivers a strong, straight forward script that keeps enough tension until the final frame, even if the story is pretty bare bones without all of the frills and twists that seem to be present in so many of the other films who seek to earn their “gritty” bonafides. That is not in any way a slam.