TRIPLE 9 – Review by Susan Granger

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Set in steamy Atlanta, Georgia, this sloppy, action-packed crime caper involves corrupt cops and criminals pulling off a daring daytime bank heist. Led by ex-Special Forces mercenary Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), there’s Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie), Franco Rodriguez (Clifton Collins Jr.), Gabe Welch (Aaron Paul) and Gabe’s big brother Russell (Norman Redus). Using their tactical training, the opening scenes are quite compelling. Read on…

Then they’re then blackmailed by Irina Vlaslov (almost unrecognizable Kate Winslet), Michael’s steely former sister-in-law, who is inexorably tied into the Russian-Israeli mob.

She refuses to pay them off unless they also break into a heavily secured Department of Homeland Security facility as part of a complicated plan to free her husband from a Russian prison.

The only way they can accomplish this is to create a police diversion called 999, a radio code for “officer-down.” Problem is: that’s foiled by Chris Allen (Casey Affleck), an idealistic, unsuspecting, former Marine, whose cynical, veteran police-sergeant Uncle Jeffrey (Woody Harrelson) is the primary investigator on the bank robbery case.

Convolutedly plotted by first-time script-writer Matt Cook, it’s superficially directed by John Hillcoat (“Lawless,” “The Road”), an Aussie who eschews morality and ethics. Instead, he obviously relishes pulpy, chaotic scenes, incoherently filled with grim, blood-soaked violence and heavy symbolism.

FYI: during pre-production, casting was often reshuffled. When Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”) dropped out, Anthony Mackie replaced him. When Cate Blanchett dropped out, Kate Winslet stepped in. And when Shia LeBeouf dropped out, Casey Affleck took his part. And so it goes…

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Triple 9” is a formidable 5, filled with dastardly double-crosses, greed and revenge.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.