December 4, 2011

Filthy Review - Triple Tap

Triple Tap (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

Triple Tap, from director Derek Yee, first saw light of day in its native Hong Kong and China in 2010. Fast forward almost 18 months and it is the latest release from Well Go USA, who I have to say have put out some exceptional movies of late. Following their release of The Stool Pigeon this is another cop thriller that doesn’t play by the rules, or for that matter play out quite as you might expect it to. Forget the flashy gunplay and slo-mo wizardry that you might expect from Hong Kong. Instead you are going to get a thriller that is far more interested in its characters than in action sequences. Rest assured though, there is enough action here to satiate the patient.

Some folk may say that I am lazy when it comes to dishing out the plot to movies in my reviews. To that I say only a lazy viewer wants to know everything before they see the movie, so I will keep it brief and try not to spoil anything here. Well, no more than is revealed on the accompanying Blu-ray/DVD packaging.

The basic outline follows two competitive shooters (the title coming from firing three shots at once), Detective Jerry Chong and Investment Banker Ken Kwan, who after a competition go their separate ways. However, on Kwan’s drive home he comes across an armed robbery in progress. Being the good soul that he is he does his best to put a stop to it. With three robbers dead the police turn up, and so begins an investigation into whether Kwan is guilty of murder. The movie twists and turns from here on in as a game of chess unfolds between all involved.

Triple Tap works exceptionally well as a police thriller, it never takes you quite where you think it will as the story is very well crafted, and slowly reveals piece by piece the big picture. As I mentioned this movie isn’t high on the action, saving most for the opening 15/20 mins or so and then holding off until towards the end. That is not to say though that the movie isn’t entirely gripping. Full focus is given to the cast and characters, well the male cast anyway. The two main females in the movie are under utilized and poorly characterized. One being Kwan’s girlfriend, who just seems happy to quietly sit in the background, and the other being Kwan’s boss who really wasn’t convincing in her role. This baffled me though because both women are integral to the plot of the movie.

Triple Tap is a slick and well produced movie and, as is so often the case in Asian thrillers, it looks fantastic and has thoroughly engaging interaction between to the two leads.

Coming as it does hot on the heels of Well Go’s previous thrillers, The Man From Nowhere and The Stool Pigeon (I missed the Better Tomorrow remake), I did think it had a lot to live up to. And, whilst it isn’t quite on par with those two movies it still stands head and shoulders above many bigger budget affairs from the West. Whether they be from Japan, Korea, Thailand or, as is the case here, Hong Kong there is no denying that Asian cinema continues to deliver the goods.

Triple Tap comes with a recommendation from me for fans of good, solid thrillers that rely on the strength of the characters and plot rather than the action sequences.

Triple Tap is released on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack by Well Go USA on December 6th.

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