Crime drama ‘Triple 9’ lacks depth but delivers in the end

The new crime drama “Triple 9” began screening in the U.S. Feb. 26 and was highly anticipated for action movie buffs considering the star-studded cast. With the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofar, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Kate Winslet, “Triple 9” promised top notch acting.

Set in Atlanta, Georgie Triple 9 opens with an intense and gritty bank heist that is pure eye candy. It is evident almost instantaneously that the cast spent time garnishing their tactical skills. We soon learn that this talented team is composed of ex-military, ex-police and active Georgia detectives.

As the story progresses we learn that they are indebted to a jailed Russian mob member and his wife Irina (Kate Winslett) and must pull one more heist to be relieved of their duties and be able to walk free with their money or else face consequences at the hands of the mob. To accomplish this feat, the criminal gang lead by Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofar) look to execute an elaborate plan which involves the help of Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie), an active Atlanta detective, and the staging of a 999 call. A 999 call being police code that signifies an officer down.

The movie itself contains intense action packed scenes that can appeal to anyone looking for a thrill ride. But with its eye catching cinematography and at times great use of mise en scene, “Triple 9” sadly does not fulfill in every aspect.

This film ended leaving a desire for more from this ensemble cast. Aaron Paul delivered a great performance as ex-cop Gabe Welch who’s own personal demons have an impact on the plot-line. Woody Harrelson delivered a great performance as Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen, who’s old school cop, to the point style of doing things is extremely refreshing and ends up being a critical element in the film

To put it bluntly the majority of these roles could have been played by any third rate actor looking for their breakthrough in Hollywood. The lack of character depth would’ve made it easy. Some of those included in this ensemble cast could have been better off pursing other ventures instead of ever giving this script a read.

I can tell you from experience as I sat in an empty theater where I saw a couple moviegoers, of the few in attendance, pull out their phones and ask themselves what I can only assume is “When is this movie going to end?” “Triple 9” loses the viewer at times as it attempts to tie in the subplot of the Russian mafia with the corrupt underworld of “dirty” police officers.

“Triple 9” examines the greed and violent nature that affects corrupted cops in their lust for money. It does well in this regard and does deliver its main objective in the end, a few dragging scenes and all.