On the Atlanta highway, bullets fly in rapid succession as armed robbers take their getaway after a successful bank heist. Unhappily, Irina Vlaslov, the head of an organized crime syndicate, orders her men to pull off an even more audacious robbery. One member of the crew is the newly-minted detective Chris Allen (Anthony Mackie), a corrupt cop who becomes enmeshed in the criminal ring’s affairs. As the heists go awry, Allen also becomes a part of the ring’s schemes.
With the triple theft at hand, a bond between Allen and ex-convict turned FBI agent, Sam Parker (James Belushi), collapses. As the scheme unfolds, Allen plans to blow away the crooks’ cover while getting inside their vault. But he doesn’t have much time to plan as the criminals make a surprise attack. With help from a wimp named Tommy (MICKEY KEE) and a few unsuspecting bank employees, Allen sneaks into the vault. But when the vault’s contents are found to contain highly enriched nuclear weapons components, the job is not so simple.
To add insult to injury, Vlaslov is ready to execute triple 9 after learning that Allen and Tommy are the perfect pair to execute her scheme. While Tommy sneaks out of a meeting, Allen gets captured. With help from some local lawmen, he manages to escape and make his way back to Vlaslov’s luxurious apartment, but with double jeopardy hanging over his head, he still needs to come up with the perfect scheme… Will this job ever end?
” Triple 9″ is based on real life events for which there is no escaping the blame. For example, a car accident claimed the life of Allen’s best friend, Dean Torrance (Michael Gambon). Allen blamed himself for Dean’s untimely death, believing that it was due to the negligence of another, more deserving person. In order to cover up his guilt, Allen created the bogus identity of an insurance agent, Dean Mabury (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and moved to New York City. However, things take a turn for the worse when his true identity is finally exposed.
A new identity however was not enough to protect Allen from more enemies. With the threat of triple murder on his head, Allen decided to strike back. Having formed a bond with some local teenagers (Kevin Kline, Tim Matheson, and singer Gidget Jones), he has them in hot pursuit of the criminals responsible for Dean’s death. Meanwhile, Dean’s killer brother, Jacob (Brian Baigent), tries to slip past the police and get into the vault with the weapons. Meanwhile, Sam Parker is the only one who knows where the weapons are hidden. To make matters worse, his wife has been bitten by a werewolf and is on the verge of death.
Cast as the main characters, three young men – Andy, Alex and Peter – must find out what really killed Dean and why their loved ones were attacked. The tension in the group is easily understandable as each of them have just undergone a painful loss. Although some of the dialog is unnecessary and predictable, the movie (and movie plot) were at its best when it focused on the interpersonal conflicts and how those affected by the tragedy. This film became more successful (and profitable) when director Richard Curtis decided to make it a ‘comedic’ rather than a ‘serious’ crime story and went with a fast-paced and witty screenplay. The character development is also great, with all of the main characters you come to know and love being depicted with some grace.
Some of the scenes involving the Parker family were a bit corny, but overall the movie was a fun watch. The acting was great and the cinematography (both indoors and out) was above average. I especially liked how the movie didn’t try to glamorize the gruesome nature of its characters.
Overall, Triple Nine is a fun movie that leaves you wanting for more. Not only are there plenty of killer scenes, there is also an emotional undercurrent that makes you feel for the Parker family. Although the ending is what you would expect from a movie of this type, the rest of the movie keeps you wanting for more. If you have seen the movie, you will know why Triple Nine is on my list of favorites…