Triple 9 tells the story of a group of cops and criminals who are blackmailed by the Russian mafia to rob a bank. However, it becomes clear that the line between good guy and bad guy is not so clearly defined; corruption runs rampant and values are challenged in this urban crime drama. The plot revolves around the group’s chosen strategy in hopes of pulling off the heist: murder a cop so that the other cops in the area collectively respond to the call (a code 999), and that will buy the team more time. Meanwhile, the young son of protagonist Chiewtel Ejiofor is held captive by the Russians, which motivates him to follow through with their demands. The film also stars (now take a deep breath): Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Norman Reedus.
Strengths include its intense and attention-grabbing opening and strong cast. Also worth mentioning are the handful of laughable moments thanks to Harrelson. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t really give you what you expect from it, and leaves you sort-of unsatisfied. After being confused about the plot for the majority of the movie, one will realize that the premise was deserving of a more compelling execution. If you enjoy routine crime thrillers or are die-hard fans of any of the leading actors, check it out. Otherwise, you won’t want to go racing to the theaters for this one.