Saturday, 20 February 2016




115 Minutes. Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer, Michael K. Williams, Woody Harrelson & Kate Winslet. Director: John Hillcoat.

9. Call it it! Police corruption is rife these days so it's time 'Lawless' and revolutionary 'The Road' director John Hillcoat throws the book at these cops that are anything but buddies my friend. Sorry fans of '48 Hours', when it comes to these Bad Boys there's more than one officer down in 'Triple 9'. Whatcha gonna do? Whose side are you on? What's it all about? Three nines?! No, no, no not a renamed emergency service for the 999 call of the U.K. distribution of this movie, but the U.S. call out for when a cop is shot. And boy is this precient a powerhouse in this epic ensemble of A-listers all making the detective grade with colors that fly. But you should never trust a man with a pointed gun, because these dirty badges need more than spit and polish to protect and serve the hearts that lay and lie behind those bulletproof vests. A relatively new sensation of a director, the aussie Hillcoat who started out his career directing a documentary on Australian band INXS, rules and brings it all in excess here for a police story drenched in neon noir and draped in the hood. From a bank job that tries to match the heist 'Heat' of another late, great talent from down under in Heath Ledger's Joker, Clown Prince, broad daylight 'Dark Knight' beginning, to the descending of an elevated finale that will have you looking for 'The Departed', the amazing action is offset by some thrilling tension. All set out in the jurisdiction of the hawking Southern city of Atlanta, Georgia, showing that the ATL can make more noise than just music. Cop this law and disorder modern great that is classic cop, blue bloods running red, meat and potatoes, bread and butter with extra crust to mop up all that gravy. There really are a lot of drawn lines on both sides of the gun here. Just check the rap sheet. Affleck, Ejiofor, Mackie, Collins Jr., Paul, Reedus, Gadot, Palmer, Williams, Harrelson and Winslet. What a line-up. You have the right to remain impressed. Anything you say are do can't be held against what this court of law movie is doing. Book this as just too engaging and arresting. Cuff 'em!

9. Making the case for Affleck, Casey shows he is more than just Batman's little brother. Or a Robin sidekick as the leading man of Ben Affleck's dynamic directorial debut 'Gone Baby Gone' shows he really is a star. Who with another film out this week really is having some of his 'Finest Hours'. 'Out Of The Furnace' and leading into the fire all the big names in this big picture. The man who inspired and impressed with the like of 'The Killer Inside Me' and 'Aint Them Bodies Saints' (not to mouthful mention the Wild West draw of 'The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford') kills and bodies everything and everyone here, anxiously cop chewing through gum quickly in a film as slow burning as his signature drawl. Monochrome toned with a bank pen chain badge necklace and long hair peaking out of his baseball cap, you haven't seen a cop this good since Jake Gyllenhaal made 'Prisoners' out of everyone. Out in Atlanta he has a Falcon on his sidekick side as his partner. But in his most conflicting, dramatic performance since 'The Hurt Locker' is Anthony Mackie worthy of holding a badge....let alone the mantle of Captain America's shield in this uncivil war? True detective or not, Mackie brings genuine grit and good cop/bad cop, thin blue line water treading to this back against the wall, keep you head down thriller. Still it's '12 Years' Chiwetel Ejiofor who may be doing real time as a criminally minded crook whose values are as twisted as the arm of his choices. A far cry from his pure portyal of hero Solomon Northup, or the man that helped bring Matt Damon's 'Martian' back down to earth, Ejiofor shaves that all away like his hair, with a cut throat performance that is a shot to the dome. Still it may be Clifton Collins Jr. that steals the show from all these big names in this detective homicide dispatch. As sinister as the day he scared the numbers out of you alongside Samuel L. Jackson in '187', this character actor shows you why he's one of the most recognisable and realest faces in this industry. And you thought this 'Scott Pilgrim' star was just a member of the vegan police? Now he's serving and winning against the world like soya versus steak. Now how do you like those potatoes?

9. We haven't even met you halfway yet. There's more riding shotgun in this cop car or getaway vehicle, depending on which side you're on in this 'Civil War', dawn of superhero in-fighting age were you dont even know if you can trust Clark Kent. Stepping into the phone booth however is woman of wonder and 'Fast & Furious' star Gal Gadot, who changes gear and keeps her baby daddy on a short lassoo. Alongside Aussie Teresa Palmer (currently making waves in 'Point Break') this international talent is flying. Soon you'll see this amazon princess on screens everywhere and we aren't just talking about perfume ads. More television stars make the big screen transition here however, including zombie hunter Norman Reedus who is all walking dread here. But Yo! You have to hand it to his chemistry with Aaron Paul. Finally breaking good into movies following his 'Need For Speed' being unable to keep up with the formidable nitrus of the 'Fast and Furious' franchise. No need to call Saul though. With some amazing acting, high off his own Heisenberg supply, Paul brings the dark depths to drug abuse. Now tell me what his name is...b####! Even hardest working, cameo character actor of the moment Michael K. Williams (see last years 'Inherent Vice' and 'The Gambler') is here, all dolled up and wearing more than just a wire. There's even more to trace however. Like the expensive suit, stylised role of Kate Winslet. A wonder as a Russian mobster with her hair slicked back with a spray that could even make her Academy Award nominated Polish assistant to 'Steve Jobs' choke. But how about Woody Harrelson? He may have the first name of a porno award, but 'The People vs Larry Flynt' star is a natural born Oscar winner and there will be cheers to him again. The bars on him too. Especially after channeling and keeping tabs on his inner 'Rampart' and chief of police lip fuzz for this corrupt cop fable that even takes his real life portrayal of service weapon scandal to task. Even 'Sicario' world have a hard time dramatically overreacting to the moral judgement here. See for yourself. There's more than a big three in 'Trip 9'. More like a perfect ten with all these units. Why call on more? This 999 thriller has the cop genre down. What an emergency! Now respond to that call! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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