Summary: Wonder Woman finds herself having to spring into action in 1984 when the mysterious Maxwell Lord offers everybody the opportunity to have their greatest wish granted… with catastrophic results.
Cinema Release Dates: 26th December 2020 (Australia), 17th December 2020 (Thailand), 16th December 2020 (UK), 25th December 2020 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: 25th December 2020 (USA)
Country: UK, USA, Spain
Director: Patty Jenkins
Screenwriter: Dave Callaham, Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, William Moulton Marston (characters)
Cast: David Al-Fahmi (Mr. Khalaji), Lilly Aspel (Young Diana), John Barry (Max (15 Years Old)), Menesh Bediako (Leon), Lynda Carter (Asteria), Oakley Bull (Kelly), Asim Chaudhry (Roger), Oliver Cotton (Simon Stagg), Lambro Demetriou (Max (8 Years Old)), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince), Hari James (Trigona), Tessa Bonham Jones (Lucy), Doutzen Kroes (Venelia), Connie Nielson (Hippolyta), Chi-Lin Nim (Wang), Pedro Pascal (Maxwell Lord), Ravi Patel (Babajide), Lucian Perez (Alistair), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Natasha Rothwell (Carol), Asa Sheridan (Jace Valentine), Rey Rey Terry (Courtney), Amr Waked (Emir Said Bin Abydos), Hayley Warnes (Aella), Kristen Wiig (Barbara Minerva), Gabriella Wilde (Raquel), Wai Wong (Lai Zhong), Robin Wright (Antiope), Kelvin Yu (Jake)
Running Time: 151 mins
Classification: M (Australia), G (Thailand) 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR WONDER WOMAN 1984 REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Wonder Woman 1984 Review:
Well at last 2020 has its own superhero – and her name is Wonder Woman. Over the last decade comic book fans have gotten used to having at least three or four superhero movies hitting cinemas each year. This year though with the blockbusters on hold those fans have had slim pickings. The underrated New Mutants came and went in the blink of an eye so the fans have just had to sit back and wait patiently for DC to launch their follow-up to 2017’s brilliant Wonder Woman. Now the wait is over and the result may surprise a few people.
Set in 1984, as the film’s title suggests, Wonder Woman 1984 finds Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot – Furious 7), working at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. Her secret life as a superhero is still very, very secret despite the press trying to speculate who this mystery woman is that keeps rescuing people across the city.
Then comes a case that sees Diana’s day job crash head first into her secret identity. After foiling a robbery of black market artefacts one of the items, a mystery stone, ends up the Smithsonian where it is to be identified by Diana’s friend and colleague Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids). After the two women learn that the stone grants wishes they both secretly cast their own wishes.
Diana’s wish sees the return of her deceased love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine – Star Trek) while Barbara wishes she could be more like Diana… a recipe for disaster given Diana’s powers. Added into the mix is television conman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal – Game Of Thrones) who was the intended recipient for the stone in the first place and his plans see the world once again put in danger.
Reviewing Wonder Woman 1984 is no easy feat. For all the reasons that some audience members like this movie others will find them contributing to the film being a let-down for them. In all honesty director Patty Jenkins (Monster) has not created a film with the epic feel of the first film, but that to me was not necessarily a bad thing. Instead Jenkins should be congratulated for embracing more of the style that was made famous in the Wonder Woman television series. There is a simplicity to this film and it works. There are no convoluted Marvel storylines here, instead Jenkins takes one of DC’s most popular characters and gives her a simple storyline that ends up becoming a classic tale of good versus evil.
Likewise Jenkins doesn’t go over the top with the action sequences here like she did with the finale of the first film. Yes there are some great fight sequences throughout the film but there are no planes crashing into buildings or anything like that. The best sequence takes part on a desert road and captures the style of The Fast & Furious franchise. Just like the first film though the most interesting scenes in the film were the ones set in Themyscira and once again I found myself hoping that one day we get an entire film set there.
What Jenkins tries to embrace more here is characterisation and that in turn gives the film heart. More of Diana’s pain and loss is explored while there is also an inner conflict explored when Steve returns to her life. Perhaps where the film does lose a little though is the fact that while Maxwell is supposed to be the ‘big bad’ in this film you learn very early on that Wiig’s Barbara is the much more interesting character.
DC fans will embrace this film picking up the obvious nods to the popular Wonder Woman television series, small things like using her tiara as a weapon show that Jenkins is a true fan, while non DC fans may feel a little under-whelmed as the film concentrates more on the heart and soul of Diana than it does jumping from planet destroying explosions etc. If you are a Wonder Woman fan though, embrace Wonder Woman 1984 because you are going to enjoy it.
When you look back through cinematic history there have been very few casting choices that have been as perfect as the casting of actress Gal Gadot as one of DC’s leading superheroes – Wonder Woman. Not only does Gadot have a strong resemblance to the Wonder Woman that many of us grew up reading about in comics but spend just one moment talking to Gadot’s co-stars from the Wonder Woman franchise and they will tell you that Gadot also embodies the love and compassion that the Amazonian superhero also portrays on screen.
Therefore it is little wonder that Wonder Woman 1984 is one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2020 and that Gadot is one of the most sought after stars. She smiles broadly when asked about what it was like to once again reprise the role of Diana Prince and also juggle the responsibilities of being a producer this time around.
“In the first one I was completely overwhelmed by the fact that we were shooting a movie that was centred completely around my character,” says Gadot after thinking about the question for a moment. “I was the title of the movie so I always felt that I was the little girl looking at the mountain and thinking ‘oh my God how am I going to climb all the way up.’ But then, it did take a lot of work, but I realised that this is something that I can do, especially when I had partners like Patty Jenkins and our amazing cast. On the second one I felt like I had a totally different experience.”
“First of all being a producer you are involved from A to Z,” she says continuing. “You are helping cast the new characters, build the new story and even helping pick what location we are going to be shooting in. There is so much more to do, it is like exploring a whole new world, a world of movie-making and that is super fascinating for me. I have to say that I think the fact that Patty and I are super close and in this together, and we talk about everything as it is, it felt like we were on the same page. So the producing part of it all was super educating and fascinating. The experience was delightful because this movie was so ambitious and so challenging and now there are so many more things I now know that I would never have learned if I weren’t a producer on this movie.”
Of course aside from producing Gadot also found herself right in the thick of things with the action sequences of the film… an element that she seems to really enjoy. “Patty made a point of wanting a minimal amount of CGI in the film,” explains Gadot. “That meant that we had to do much more and our stunt team had to do much more and we had to build rigs that most people don’t use any more because they use CGI for all their stunts. So for the mall scene we had an entire mall dressed up like it was the 1980s and we had the entire mall to ourselves. The ceiling was rigged with wires and stuff all around it and it took a lot of time to create and establish all of that and it took a lot of time to rehearse all of that. We have the best stunt team in the world and they have done an amazing job making sure everything looks as real as possible so when you watch the movie you can see the difference. You can see that it is all real, you can see the weight and the speed and the reactions in the faces because they are real faces. It was great and I am very proud of it. It was a lot of work but I am proud of it.”
One of the new faces in Wonder Woman 1984 is comedic actress Kristen Wiig who takes on the role of Cheetah despite it being a serious role. “It was the best,” says Gadot before the question is even finished. “Kristen is the best! She is so funny and such a great friend. She is so generous and she just made the whole process so delightful for me – we literally did like SNL skits while we were shooting, while they were changing sets and shots and whatever. She is funny, she is smart, she is just amazing. I love her so much. She is so talented, she was given such a tough arc to play and she absolutely nailed it She went from being the insecure, vulnerable, shy person to this super vicious, strong, dark and scary character and she gave all different colours and different ranges – she is so talented She is the best!”
To finish off Gadot discusses why the character of Wonder Woman resinates with so many people. “Wonder Woman stands for love and for compassion and for empathy and peace,” she says. “I think that is something that we all love and connect to. Her biggest weapon and her biggest tool is her heart and that is why people like her so much… she is good!”
Wonder Woman is in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day.
It is one of the biggest cinematic questions of 2020. How does Steve Trevor, played by the very talented Chris Pine, return in Wonder Woman 1984 after his very heroic death in the first film. And while Pine is remaining tight lipped about any spoilers he is more than happy to talk about other aspects of the much anticipated film.
“Yeah, I’ve actually been working with Patty a lot,” he says with a laugh when asked about working with Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins. “We even did a television show together between the two films. I have been working consistently with her over the last four years – I love working with her. She is a great leader, she is like General Patton but also has a sensitive and quiet side. She is a great observer of people, she is a great listener, she knows how to get the best of her actors and ultimately she is incredible visionary. She knows how to bring her vision into life which is much more difficult task then it seems like it should be.”
Pine though is not only full of praise for his director he also seems in awe of his co-star Gal Gadot who brilliantly brings the role of Wonder Woman to life on the big screen. “I think Gal is the perfect embodiment of Wonder Woman,” he says again smiling. “She is the personification of love and heart and that is also Gal, she has this great big heart and she has these eyes that just takes in the world. She has this natural instinct of maternal strength and heart and I couldn’t think of anyone else that could ever have played her.”
As we said previously of course Pine is not going to go into great details about how Steve Trevor finds himself back… well alive… but he is only too happy to talk about how Steve feels about being alive in the 1980s. “I think Steve is just pretty happy to be back around the love of his life,” he says after thinking for a moment. “He is stoked to be taking in all these great things like elevators and pop-tarts, toaster ovens and great clothes and dancing and incredible airplanes and stuff like that. They just picked the funniest clothes and then made me put them on and then tried to create scenes out of them. I pretty much just put on clothes that made Patty laugh and that helped us see what worked.”
Of course the biggest part of Wonder Woman 1984 is not the costuming though – it is the action sequences and it is surprising to learn that Pine doesn’t do much to prepare for them. “No I don’t do much,” he says after asked how he prepares for action scenes. “Gal has to do stunt training ,wire work and stunt co-ordination and all of that and I kind of have these sock ‘em and get punched in the face things. I just worked with the co-ordinator and came up with some good stuff because with Steve Trevor he is more of a bar-room brawler. He gets in a fight, throws in his fists, sees what lands and then tries to get out.”
Aside from the action though Jenkins has also given Wonder Woman 1984 a massive amount of heart and it seems that Pine is happy with the fact that the film explores more of the relationship between Diana and Steve. “They are polar opposites,” he says when trying to explain the connection between the two lovers. “She is wide eyed, loving and compassionate and he is closed off and jaded and he is bitter and angry at the world. They teach each other important lessons and they help the other grow and I think that is the best version of a healthy relationship.”
To finish off Pine talks about why he believes Wonder Woman 1984 is the perfect film to close out 2020. “I think this is a movie about love and compassion,” he explains. “It is heart and it is a movie that has a lead that personifies those qualities who is a joy to work with and is like that in real life… that is certainly not a bad thing and I think while it is easy for people to get their fix of complicated heroes and dark subject matter it is also nice to return to good old fashioned entertainment which is what I think this is.”
Wonder Woman 1984 is released in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day.
Roadshow Films have just released the brand new trailer for Justice League.
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
JUSTICE LEAGUE is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Henry Cavill, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, J.K. Simmons.
JUSTICE LEAGUE releases in Australian cinemas on November 16, 2017.
The new, action-packed trailer for the highly-anticipated 2017 film Wonder Woman has just been released by Warner Bros. Wonder Woman hits cinemas around the world next June when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty JenkinsMonster, AMC’s The Killing).
Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine (the Star Trek films), Connie Nielsen (Fox’s The Following, Gladiator) and Robin Wright (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Netflix’s House of Cards).
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Patty Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns & Patty Jenkins, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.
The film is scheduled for release in Australia and New Zealand on June 1, 2017.
You can view the brand new Wonder Woman trailer below.
Well Comic Con is over for another year and once again we have seen some amazing trailers released to fans at the con. Let’s take a look at the films that trailers premiered.
Summary: An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world, and becomes the greatest of its heroes.
Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, David Thewlis
Release Date: 1st June, 2017 (Australia)
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Summary: An action/adventure story centered on King Kong’s origins.
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Johnson
Release Date: 9th March, 2017 (Australia)
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Summary: A spin-off of The Lego Movie centering on Batman.
Director: Chris McKay
Stars: Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Mariah Carey
Release Date: February 2017 (Australia)
Summary: After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant and conceited surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under her wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast:Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton
Release Date: 27th October, 2016 (Australia)
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
Summary: Feature film version of the classic King Arthur story.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Eric Bana, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou
Release Date: 23rd March 2017 (Australia)
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Summary: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
Director: David Yates
Cast: Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight
Release Date: 17th November 2016 (Australia)
THE WOODS (BLAIR WITCH)
Summary: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister’s experiences in the cursed woods of the Blair Witch, Blane and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling.
Director: Adam Wingard
Cast: Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
Release Date: September 2016 (Australia)
Summary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Amber Heard, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Ezra Miller, J.K. Simmons, Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe
This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘A Bigger Splash,’ ‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice,’ ‘Eye In The Sky,’ ‘Sherpa,’ ‘Labyrinth Of Lies,’ ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ and ‘Our Last Tango’. This episode also contains interviews with Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jack Black , Angelina Jolie, Luca Guadagnino, Jennifer Peedom and German Kral.
Also make sure you are listening this week for your chance to win a copy of Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans on DVD thanks to our good friends at eOne Entertainment. To win just listen to this week’s episode of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show, listen out for the question that Dave asks and then private message us your answers on either our Facebook or Twitter pages.
Summary: When young Detective Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) is moved into a tough squad of the Atlanta Police Department he is unaware that his new partner, Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie), is corrupt and working with a group of criminals including Gabe Welch (Aaron Paul), Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Russell Welch (Norman Reedus) and another corrupt officer, Franco Rodriguez (Clifton Collins Jnr.).
With the group running a series of robberies for Russian Mafia boss Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet) they find themselves stretched to the limit and it is decided that the only way to pull off the hardest of the robberies is to have Triple 9 (Police officer down) call put across the airwaves. Their chosen target is Chris because they know his uncle, respected Detective Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson) will pull every officer onto the case.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd March 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: John Hillcoat
Screenwriter: Matt Cook
Cast: Terri Abney (Leah Green), Casey Affleck (Chris Allen), Armando Alonzo (Emilio), Michelle Ang (Trina Ling), Carlos Aviles (Fernando Rivera), Alexander Babara (Ben Feldman), Anthony Belevstov (Yussel Gotlib), Ian Casselberry (Gomez), Clifton Collins Jnr. (Franco Rodriguez), Luis Da Silva Jnr. (Luis Pinto), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Michael Atwood), Gal Gadot (Elena Vlaslov), Michael Harding (Walter Sims), Woody Harrelson (Jeffrey Allen), Karen Kaia Livers (Shanice), Anthony Mackie (Marcus Belmont), Blake McLennan (Felix), Valiant Michael (Sergio), E. Roger Mitchell (Smith), Teresa Palmer (Michelle Allen), Aaron Paul (Gabe Welch), Norman Reedus (Russell Welch), Terence Rosemore (Joshua Parks), Labrandon Shead (Sgt. Pete Nelson), Christiana Simonds (Christina), Michael Kenneth Williams (Sweet Pea), Kate Winslet (Irina Vlaslov)
Runtime: 115 mins
OUR TRIPLE 9 REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Yes it might be a year when we are getting films like Batman vs Superman and of course another Captain America film but one of the films I was most excited to see this year was Triple 9. Triple 9 looked like it would be interesting watch, not only did it have a stellar cast involved including two of my favourites Woody Harrelson and Kate Winslet (who never normally chooses a bad script) but was also directed by John Hillcoat whose filmography contains films like TheProposition, The Road and Lawless all films that have revealed that he is gritty director certainly worth watching the work of. Throw in a healthy dose of Police corruption and this was well and truly on the road to becoming one of my fave films of the year. That was until I sat down and watched it.
To be honest Triple 9 isn’t a bad film, in fact many elements of the film do in fact work. Hillcoat is at his normal gritty best with some realistic action sequences in which a normal cops and robbers chase across Atlanta becomes something of violent beauty, while some of the urban shoot-outs will have the audience on the edge of their seat. The problem with Triple 9 though is that it tries to do too much and is sadly let down by a script that needed just a few more re-writes.
It’s not surprising to learn that Triple 9’s screenwriter Matt Cook is a first time feature writer. The idea behind Triple 9 is sound but still the screenplay itself has some very big holes. First of all there is way too much happening and too many of the characters are too similar, so similar in fact that some of the critics at the Melbourne media screening were turning to each other and asking ‘who the hell was?’ after the screening… never a good sign.
As a screenwriter Cook seems to created quite a good world with a massive amount of back story that just doesn’t come through during the film. Just how did Michael start having a relationship with Elena, what ended etc are just never fully explained. Then there are huge plotholes like if all the team need is for a Triple 9 call to go over the airwaves do they really need to shoot a cop or can they just ‘pretend’ a cop has been shot? A seasoned screenwriter would have known to have ironed out things like that during the writing process but sadly that is something that Cook has overlooked. Hillcoat does all he can to make the screenplay watchable but just falls short of making this a decent film.
Likewise the weak screenplay also leaves some of the cast floundering as well. Luckily Casey Affleck and Kate Winslet are there to save things. Affleck does a more than admirable job playing the fresh faced Chris, but it is Winslet that really excels herself. Casting Winslet as a Russian Mafia boss was a risky pick. A pick so risky that if she had failed she could have been looking at finding herself in Golden Razzie territory, luckily though she is up to the task and Winslet delivers another fine performance… this time showing that she can pretty much handle anything that is thrown at her.
Also up to the task is Harrelson who seems to borrow a little bit from his role that he had in Rampart. Those suffering though are the likes of Antony Mackie, Aaron Paul and Chiwetel Ejiofor who in roles where they are severely hampered by the fact that their characters are dangerously clichéd. Then there are poor Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer and Michelle Ang whose characters just seem to go missing for huge chunks of the film.
There is no doubt that with a little bit more work on the screenplay Triple 9 could have been a brilliant film. The poor screenplay unfortunately though leaves the audience asking too many questions and dumps this film right in the middle of a heap of other average films. While it may appeal to fans of The Shield don’t expect the writing of Triple 9 to ever lift it to anything near as brilliant.
Australian director John Hillcoat makes visceral, violent, dark and aggressively masculine thrillers, ranging from the bleak prison drama Ghosts… Of The Civil Dead through to the gritty outback western The Proposition, the apocalyptic journey into a heart of darkness with The Road or the prohibition era crime drama Lawless. And he seems to be able to attract A-list actors to work with him. Hillcoat’s latest film is another gritty and morally murky crime drama that is not for the squeamish or faint hearted. Triple 9 features a strong cast, some strong action sequences and a high body count. But it is also something of a disappointment given his body of work.
Written by first time writer Matt Cook, Triple 9 is set on the mean streets of Atlanta, Georgia, a lawless city full of crime and corruption where the gang and gun culture seems out of control. But the script itself raises too many questions and there are some gaping holes in the plot. Some of the dialogue is cliched, and the characterisation underdone.
When the film opens a carefully planned bank robbery is in progress. The thieves rob some money but their prime interest lies with a safety deposit box that holds some important documents vital to a Russian gangster incarcerated in a Siberian gulag. The thieves turn out to be a couple of former special forces operatives and a couple of corrupt cops. They have been blackmailed by the powerful Irina Vaslov (Kate Winslet, cast against type), the wife of the Russian gangster, into working for the Kosher Nostra, a criminal gang of Russian Jews. But Irina welshes on paying them, instead she forces them to break into a Homeland Security safe house, an even more secure location, to steal further incriminating evidence. The thieves plan to distract the police by killing honest cop Chris Allen (Casey Affleck).
On the trail of the daring brazen thieves is veteran detective Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson), who happens to be Chris’s cousin.
The title comes from the police code for “Officer Down,” a code that sees police officers everywhere stop what they are doing and respond immediately to the distress signal. The film itself is full of some violent action, double crosses and revenge. But this contemporary heist thriller is also a morally empty film, and its seedy air of corruption and desperation reminds audiences of Training Day and the films of Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, etc).
Hillcoat certainly directs with energy and he maintains a fast pace throughout. He effectively ramps up the action with a superb urban shootout that imitates Michael Mann’s superb Heat, and an exciting adrenaline charged car chase on the city’s freeway.
Belgian cinematographer Nicholas Karakatsanis (the moody crime drama The Drop, etc) gives the film a grimy authenticity as he has shot the film largely using a restless handheld cameras to take us into the action. This is particularly effective in a couple of tense scenes. He has also shot in muted colours, lots of reds and blacks that is meant to intensify the mood, but the colour scheme also sometimes renders it hard to discern what is happening. The film has also been edited in that rapid, kinetic style by Dylan Tichenor (who has worked with the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson) which sometimes renders the action incomprehensible. And too many of the characters seems too similar and we never really get a handle on them and what makes them tick.
Strong performances from Affleck, Winslet and Harrelson bolster the film. Winslet steps into a role originally intended for Cate Blanchett (who wisely said “nyet”), but she adopts a convincing Russian accent and a cool icy demeanour. Affleck delivers one of his best perfomances yet as the fresh faced cop unaware of the corruption surrounding him. Harrelson is also good as the seedy and jaded veteran cop with an addiction problem, a role that has some similarities to his recent work in True Detective and the gritty drama Rampart.
Unfortunately, talented players like Anthony Mackie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clifton Collins jr, Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul and The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus find themselves stuck with cliched, one-dimensional characters ands do not leave much of an impression.
With its convoluted plotting and cliched characters, Triple 9 is unfortunately just another police action thriller that doesn’t really offer anything particualrly new or surprising.
John Hillcoat has an impressive back catalogue to show off. All of them tapping into a vein of masculinity being tested. Whether it be Ray Winstone saving face in The Proposition, Viggo Mortensen going above and beyond fatherly duties in The Road, or literally every cell mate in Ghosts… Of the Civil Dead. Based on a screenplay by Matt Cook, Triple 9 lets Hillcoat return to these themes and, well, triple them. Not always to great effect.
In Atlanta, Georgia, three professional criminals (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus and Aaron Paul) join up with two corrupt lawmen (Anthony Mackie and Clifton Collins Jnr) to rob a bank at the behest of a Russian mob wife (Kate Winslet). She stiffs the group on their reward, politely and violently asking them do one last robbery for the sake of her incarnated husband.
Each of the man has a lot to lose, financially and personally, if they don’t steam ahead. Ejiofor, for example, will lose custody rights to the kid he’s fathered with Winslet’s sister. So, realizing that the robbery is impossible unless they come up with a big enough distraction, the decision is made to kill a cop on the day. With Atlanta’s police searching for a cop killer, they should have plenty of time to get in and out unnoticed. Enter Casey Affleck as Mackie’s new partner, who he clearly doesn’t care for.
Triple 9 is bolshy, angry and suffers from excess in all departments. With such a pedigree of cast on display, I haven’t even mentioned Woody Harrelson yet, it’s understandable the film wants to get plenty of bang for its buck.
This should be an ensemble piece, but it feels like Triple 9 can’t decide who its focus is. Is it Affleck stumbling around naively? Is it Mackie wrestling with his subconscious? Perhaps it’s Ejiofor battling to see his son. Triple 9 wants it to be all of them. And that’s fine, but it doesn’t achieve its goals.
Meanwhile, Hillcoat’s direction paints a suitably sweaty, gritty world lit in blue and red. At it’s best, it’s a reminder of Ghosts… of the Civil Dead. At it’s worst it’s Heat as directed by Michael Bay, where men are real chest beating men and women have minimal dialogue or clothing. That’s not an exaggeration as Triple 9 ensures that anyone remotely female is saved for background or wifely duties. It’s only really Winslet that manages to rise above the heap and she does so with an outrageous accent.
There is still a lot to enjoy here, with some breathtaking set pieces that suggest Hillcoat could be eyeing up an action movies as his next gig. But this is then clouded by overripe dialogue, undercooked characterisation and so much backstabbing it makes Wild Things blush. Please understand, this isn’t a bad film. It’s perfectly serviceable, but it is not what we expect from Hillcoat, who has proven in the past he can play with restraint. Enjoyable, but a bit of a misstep.
Triple 9, directed by John Hillcoat and containing a decent cast consisting of Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson and many more. Personally I am not one who is into all the Police and crime films but after seeing Triple 9 I must say that is a film that is definitely worth watching. The film opens with a bang consisting of a bank robbery and from that point on the film is non-stop action. There aren’t any big defying scenes of the film that consist of car chases and explosions but the film is very confronting when it comes to the criminal side of things. The film has a lot of graphic scenes which really gives the film a very dark feel to it. Some of the things I liked about the film was the story and the acting. The story itself had many twists and turns that you don’t see coming and it adds so much to the film when you see something you don’t believe would happen. The acting in the film from all the actors was incredible. The pure emotion that was seen on screen was great to me.
If your a fan of the Police and crime films this is a film that you really should go see.