“Triple Threat” is a martial-arts film from China directed by Jesse V. Johnson that is now available On Demand and in select cinemas. The film stars the finest in the genre, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, Celina Jade, Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins. It’s a collision of the best in the business when it comes to cinematic martial-arts centering on the daughter of a billionaire that is aiming to bring down crime syndicates. This naturally earns her a contact for her life from said syndicates which brings out a collection of assassins trying to collect on the reward. The woman ends up with a small group of mercenaries with their own motives and from there all hell breaks loose.
It’s certainly a mash-up of other action movie plots. And while it wasn’t overly ambitious in character development or in building substance to the story layers, it did work for the intention of the movie overall. The focus of this one was the action-sequences and creating a narrative that could have enough flow to invest in. But at the same time could incorporate an endless string of martial-arts action. I think this movie accomplished its goals with success. I thought it was a great time sitting back and watching the consistently fast pace and frequent action and fighting. It delivers violent shoot-outs, tense chase-sequences and various styles of hand-to-hand fighting that was able to showcase the skills of each performer.
They were well-crafted with awesome choreography that allowed the camera to sit back and capture long bouts of frenetic martial-arts. These guys have all had their own string of movies where they were the leads and getting to see them all together in this movie, battling back-and-forth with their brands of fighting styles was incredibly entertaining and what I had hoped for. I enjoyed the performances as well and thought everyone had a natural chemistry with one another. It was enjoyable to see the rapport between them all in this film given they’re all headliners in the genre on their own. The effort from everyone was visible onscreen to highlight what they could do and make this the best movie it could be. This created a genuine intensity to the climatic showdowns.
I think the camerawork from Johnson complemented the fight choreography nicely. I loved the angles he selected to keep the viewpoint always visually appealing to immerse the viewer into the violence of the fighting. I also thought some of the other techniques he incorporated were able to heighten the tone of the violence. There was an effective use of camera movement and slow-motion that added that added some artistic appeal which natural complemented the pure talent of the performers. The techniques Johnson used were able to capture to precision of the choreography, they gave the fight-sequences a natural flow, but never felt overused to the point of being too stylized.
I also liked how everyone got a chance to do what they do with a nice balance throughout the story. To me the result was the definition of an action-packed film. I do wish there was more depth to the characters to give the fight-sequences even more weight. But from an entertainment aspect it all worked enough to grab my attention and maintain it. Another downside was the thin story-line. I know it wasn’t the focus like the action was, but it was hard to build interest in what was happening making it a movie I enjoyed watching, but not one that pulled me in a mentally engaging way. Despite that it was filled with fun fight-sequences and that was the selling point. The skills of the cast were utilized enough to overlook the shortcomings of the story-line to still be a wild ride of fists and kicks. If you like this genre or these stars, then I highly recommend finding this movie on digital to enjoy at home.
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