Triple Nine Disappoints + Oscars Thoughts

The day after The Academy Awards always seems like a good time to go see a movie and after a quick look at movie times, casts and premises I decided to go see Triple Nine over Race or Eddie the Eagle since I was more in the mood for assholes with guns than athletes overcoming obstacles. It wasn’t a mistake per se but it was definitely a disappointment. 

The premise is mostly The Departed meets The Town with an excellent and diverse (racewise at least. It’s also a sausagefest) cast; Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Woody Harrelson, Clifton Collins Jr. And yet the movie is overlong and meandering and can barely connect the scenes into a cohesive movie. Even then I still mostly enjoyed the first 90 minutes or so. Crews and secrets and plans, I’m into all of this (although I think the movie would’ve been more interesting if Anthony Mackie and Casey Affleck had switched roles.) but Triple Nine tries to do too much and can’t quite bring all the threads together and it makes the classic mistake of hitting a point that feels like the end and going on for another 30 minutes instead of wrapping it up. 

What’s it worth? Probably not a trip to the movie theater. If you’re at home and feeling like redboxing a movie about assholes with guns you haven’t seen before it wouldn’t be a dollar completely wasted since the acting is good but be prepared to be frustrated and roll your eyes a bit and cheer for absolutely no one (which considering the current state of tv most people should be used to by now). 

As for The Oscars, a quick rundown. 

  • Yay for Spotlight! I was very happy when it won best ensemble at the SAGs as it really is the definition of a film without a “star,” the ensemble is the star and it’s a powerful film that’s really well done. 
  • Meh on acting. Brie Larsen was great in Room but she was up against a weak field so no surprise there. Mark Rylance was the best thing about Bridge of Spies and since we didn’t have Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation it’s fine I guess. Vikander and DiCaprio…no. Danish Girl was so paint-by-numbers soulless  oscarbait. People are happy about Vikander’s win because she was great in Ex Machina but in Danish Girl?  Nothing remarkable. And Leo…I’m still so baffled about how the narrative that Leo deserves an Oscar came about. Yes he’s a good actor, I’ve always found him watchable and for the most part enjoyable, but in the years he lost he lost to spectacular performances so it’s not like he was consistently getting robbed. So somehow that means he gets awards for grunting and rolling around in the snow? Fine. Whatever. Of the five I think Bryan Cranston had the strongest performance and Michael B. Jordan should definitely have been on the shortlist over Eddie Redmayne. 
  • There’s still nothing redeeming about Revenant but this tweet about Iñárritu winning gave me life. 
  • Hateful Eight is another overly long movie (187 minutes why even no) with a good idea at its core so I was initially annoyed the score won over Star Wars but then I listened to it and wow, that score is about 100x better than the movie deserves. 
  • Can we just get rid of the best song category? 
  • Mad. Max. I…ok I didn’t like Mad Max. I appreciate that it’s a film that manages to depict rape and the trauma of it without actually showing the assault and making all the women completely broken but I didn’t think it was a very good movie. I do appreciate that by winning Mad Max prevented clear oscarbait movies from winning showing that popular blockbusters are just as worthy of consideration but…I can’t quite cheer at its wins either. This is why I normally don’t say anything about this film. It’s so hard to articulate my thoughts without caveat after caveat. 

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