Wednesday, June 22, 2016

TRIPLE 9, A Warning

As an introduction, here's the German trailer for "Triple 9," a Hollywood movie from earlier this year. It's on Asian cable TV as we speak, so they must have given up on it already. I show the German trailer because almost anything is more fun in German. That's truer than usual in the case of this movie. 

If I could buy back the time that I spent watching Triple 9 in my hotel room last weekend, I would. That’s impossible though. Luckily, my secondary goal is to forget the movie. That will be much easier.

The movie opens with a bank robbery. About a battalion of heavily armed, body armored and solidly masked gangsters take the bank. Shots are fired; bombs are exploded; and it seems to take more than the recommended time allotment for bank robberies. But don’t worry. It’s not like they got away with much. Just a huge red dye-pack that explodes in the getaway van. The gang barely gets away.

Who writes these movies? These scripts are supremely unlikely on both the macro level and in their details. The gang here is mostly police officers, which does not tend to flatter police officers. The only smart thing that they do in the entire movie is communicate in simple Spanish during the initial robbery (clever because only one of them is Hispanic). Beyond that, everything that they do is stupid, un-criminal-like, and uncommented upon.

For example: all of the gangsters in these movies touch everything in sight. Nice shiny metal surfaces, touching, touching, touching. As in, leaving fingerprints. In this particular movie, they are police themselves, so they should know better. Often, the criminals are ex-military or experienced criminals, who should also know better. Whenever a criminal in a movie touches anything, I cringe. I get to cringe often.

The guys in this movie couldn’t steal a magazine from a candy store, much less get away with a bank robbery. If you told them, “go steal me a girlie book from that magazine store,” they’d probably shoot the store manager and come back with a National Geographic.

This is a terrible movie, with no sympathetic characters that I can recall. There are so many big names in the cast that I wonder what dynamic brought the movie to its terrible reality. Misguided friendship? Were they all sabotaged by their agents? If this were the 1980s, I’d be sure that cocaine was involved. 

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