When Russians have run over town, you might as well be the one calling the shots, preferably in big blonde hair and thin tall heels. This could be one reason why Kate Winslet took up the role of Irina, the wife of a Jew Russian ganglord who is locked up in gulag and on whose behalf she is now running the business in Atlanta, Georgia (the film helpfully adds United States, though this film could have been nowhere else). Winslet tries hard, really hard, including with pancake that flakes off her skin. However, there is only so much she can do in a film about dirty cops and lots of confusing shootouts.
Another person trying as hard is Affleck, as honest police officer Chris with a well-settled detective (Harrelson as Jeffrey) for uncle. He wears down more than the gum he constantly chews with his visible effort.
There are quite a few other known names populating this venture, but it never really lifts off the ground or get us interested in the proceedings. Only Michael (Ejiofor), who is basically the leader of a crew working for the Russians, has any kind of personal stake invested in how things go down. Michael was married to Irina’s sister, and Irina uses their son to make him bow to her wishes. Mackie and Collins Jr play policemen who are part of the crew, while the rear end comprises two brothers, including one played by Aaron Paul, who may as well be in Breaking Bad.
The graphic violence is worser for the fact that many children hang around the frame.
Trying to decipher whether all of it amounts to anything, you may appreciate the fact that Triple 9 is as mixed-race as it gets, with no obvious stereotypes.
Directed by John Hillcoat
Starring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Clifton Collins Jr