Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, the event action film of 2019 is here. Triple Threat will finally be released Worldwide beginning with a 150 screen blast on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 in the USA. Dan's Movie Report is thrilled and honored to be chosen among the few journalistic outlets to screen the film early and provide thoughts on the project.
Because this is a very early review, and many portions of the plot and character development are integral to the audience enjoyment of the film, I have decided that this will not only be a spoiler free review, but a timeline and nuanced unspecific review, more like random thoughts, not following any structure.
Director Jesse V. Johnson crafts a undulating masterpiece in Triple Threat as the audience is inserted right into the story literally from the opening moment of the film. Lush images of a jungle in South East Asia is the backdrop for an opening to set the stage. Triple Threat is meant to be a theater movie, and one to crank the volume up! While many comparisons on the web have been made to The Expendables, ultimately I see a far more personal story here. Each character, is given a voice in the action, and time is taken to allow the actor to show emotion throughout.
Another element in Triple Threat that is particularly enjoyable is the interplay between characters who have a very tenuous relationship, The audience at times never knows if the person will be deceitful. This is what can be considered the third element, the protagonists, the antagonists, and those whose alliance suits their own needs and focus. Again revealing this, will spoil the story. Of course it is well known who the bad guys are. Scott Adkins, Michael Bisping, Jeeja Yanin, Michael Jai White, and Ron Smoorenburg are an elite band of hired mercenaries. Enough details regarding the action have come out, who fights who, and some of the locations of the fights.
Celina Jade, in her most complete character role to date, plays a Billionaire's daughter who is intent on ridding the city of Bangkok of crime, but of course so many want to stop her. Celina is an amazing actress, Triple Threat is a movie where she has to push through a myriad of emotions, all the while keeping focus on what she must do to accomplish her goal. She forms a bond with Tony Jaa's character in Triple Threat, and the fact they have worked together prior in Skin Trade shows.
Tony Jaa is a force of nature, The man is pushing hard to get is acting skill at the top level. Wait, what the hell are you saying Danny? Yes, the thing is, this is what sets Triple Threat apart from I can safely say, 95 percent of all other action films, the acting. Jesse, took his time explaining to the actors, what he wanted in a particular scene, so much focus, the result is not only the actors show more emotion, but ultimately the film more watchable. Ron Smoorenburg, told me that Jesse gave him the motivation for his character and the reasoning behind why his character is wearing the glasses, a nerdy Rambo! Ron said it helped him, feel the character. Action actors, are mainly known for kicking ass and being stoic onscreen, In Triple Threat, the characters are flawed and have things happen to them that requires emotion. So important this is, Jesse sets the bar high for his actors, and gets results in Triple Threat.
Pointing out a few strong highlights of Triple Threat, the first one being just a great action sequence, and fight between Tony Jaa and Ron Smoorenburg. The full force fight is close quarters, hard, angry, and no body part is left without bruising. Fight choreographer Tim Man, has truly crafted some of the most entertaining action in a long time in Triple Threat. His action prowess is well documented, and he keeps leveling up in each outing. Speaking of fights, a sequence near the end was choreographed by the amazing Luke LaFontaine, and his style is different from Tim's, actually this allows for diversification in the action and completely works for the story.
Scott Adkins explodes with emotion in Triple Threat, he is the angry yelling villain we all needed to see. Gone is the stoic, I will kick your ass and be done mentality, now he is raw, visceral and raging. He is not only the leader of the group of mercenaries he is angry throughout the film. This leads to rash decisions and unpredictable actions, the makings of a great action movie!
All of the elements are solid in Triple Threat, lighting, cinematography, and scope. Triple Threat feels big, by that I mean perhaps a film of 5-10 times the budget. Rolling in at a crisp 96 minutes, felt a touch short, but the edit kept the story moving, I sincerely hope a complete Blu-Ray is released with director commentary, deleted scenes, and a deconstruction of some of the action and locations.
Some small gripes are the lighting near the final fight sequence, which was shot in an different location. The back lighting was cool, but the overhead lighting did not allow the audience to see the action as well, I did do a second pass with the brightness turned up, it was better, but the colors washed out a bit. Not a gripe, but because the film is in multiple languages and subtitles are used, certain characters voices, are louder than others, of course this cannot be helped, but letting the audience know what to expect. I would have liked to see a back story on the mercenaries, prior to them being inserted into the jungle, even 3 minute montage, may have helped. Jesse, to his credit does in effect do this through a past vision element, but again, a few moments prior, may have helped character motivation, and for the audience to feel more emotion towards them.
Those minor elements aside, overall Triple Threat is a great film, one that has not only repeat watch- ability, but memorable quotes! Not wanting to spoil them, I will point out one such quote from Celina Jade saying after she is whisked away on a boat, to Tony Jaa and his unlikely friends. “Can I trust you guys?” Then looks worried. A pensive moment, yet something adding a bit of levity do to the timing of the statement ha, usually this is said prior to a daring rescue!
As for a rating, whew, "Triple Threat is a bombastic, fantastic, masterpiece, pushing the limits of character!" YEP, that is it in a nutshell. Explosive in action and dialogue, Triple Threat delivers the goods, in a blood soaked package! Even the minor gripes are minuscule compared to what the team has accomplished. The film rates a 9 out of 10, it is that good. All one can hope for is either a part 2 or another film starring some of the same cast! Kudos to Well Go USA, for pushing the boundaries of their own company as well and really putting focus on such a great property, by releasing to theatrical on 150 plus screens!!!
For detailed information: https://www.triplethreatfilm.com/
Please check out my partner site www.action-flix.com where John and I do a dual interview with both Director Jesse, and Ron Smoorenburg! .
Here is all of the information to BUY the film legally! Also to watch in theater! http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2019/03/official-triple-threat-news-chinese.html