Run Time: 93 Mins
What To Expect: Scott Adkins, Tiger Chen, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and Iko Uwais all fighting each other
Jesse V. Johnson, the English director with a flare for getting the most out of the least, is back with another B-movie actioner. Triple Threat, is an ensemble that brings together Scott Adkins, Tiger Chen, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White and Iko Uwais. Having directed Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren in The Package, and Scott Adkins in Savage Dog, two movies I approved of, this one goes exactly how you’d expect.
So, Scott Adkins is a villain in this one, as is Michael Jai White. And they are part of a sort of anti-A-Team, soldiers of fortune who give a damn only about money and don’t care who gets splattered. Tony Jaa and Tiger Chen are also on the team. When Jai White leads them to raid a village to free Adkins from captivity, bodies of innocents start piling up. Unfortunately for them they kill a woman, and her husband just happens to be played by Iko Uwais, who goes into batshit revenge mode. White and Adkins also leave Jaa and Chen for dead, who join Uwais to basically fight a running battle with Adkins and Jai White throughout, culminating in an epic martial arts battle to the death among an big ensemble.
Fans of the actors in this movie are not going to be disappointed. You get what you’d hope for: Non stop fights between martial arts actors on top of their game. Iko Uwais vs. Tony Jaa. Tony Jaa vs. a heavyweight fighter. Iko Uwais vs. Tiger Chen. Tiger Chen vs. Michael Jai White. Tony Jaa vs. Scott Adkins. There are too many to list. I have probably forgotten a few.
The film does look ‘budget’ throughout, the gun fights are nice and violent but feature some suspect CGI and it does have an annoying plot hole in the second half, where Uwais can basically settle a score but refuses to (this is to basically facilitate a battle royale for the cast at the end), Michael Jai White doesn’t appear too much in the film either.
However I’m going to give this an eight. Because it’s nice to see Adkins and MJW play villains, it’s nice to see Tony Jaa, Tiger Chen and Iko Uwais speak in English throughout and it’s cool to see Jaa play an upbeat rogue wise ass. The plot is there to service the action too, nothing more, which I’ll praise as a good thing – a movie which knows its place in the world and limits things to 90 minutes is a movie that’ll succeed. As you’d expect too, no shaking cameras… anyone who brought this cast together and started shaking the cameras would need to be shot. Do I even need to bother that the whole cast is into their respective roles and not phoning it in? Adkins, MJW et al. What else would you expect from these pros?
A favorite scene, before I forget: Iko Uwais blowing a pissant to hell with a grenade launcher, a scene so violent it invokes an involuntary cheer, reminiscent of when Charles Bronson did it twice in the Death Wish series.
Triple Threat is released March 19th