‘Triple Threat’ Review — Action Icons Overcome a Bland Script

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Triple Threat Review

Fans of action films love a good team-up. The entire appeal of The Expendables series was seeing a group of action icons working together for the first time ever. However, there was just one problem with The Expendables – most of the biggest stars in the films were pretty much past their prime. In the new multinational production Triple Threat, director Jesse V. Johnson has assembled an all-star team of action stars, all of whom are still kicking ass at the top of their game. There may not be a lot of depth to the script for Triple Threat but this is a film that knows what its audience is paying to see, and the film delivers on its promise of frenzied action with some of the world’s best action stars.

During a mission to a secluded outpost in the jungles of Asia, Devereaux (Michael Jai White) leads a team of mercenaries to rescue Collins (Scott Adkins), the leader of their ruthless cabal of murderers for hire. In the violent struggle, Jaka (Iko Uwais) sees his innocent wife slain before his eyes, swearing revenge on the men who killed her. Asian mercenaries Long Fei (Tiger Hu Chen) and Payu (Tony Jaa) are double crossed by Devereaux and Collins. As the violent mercenaries move onto their next target in Chinese heiress Xian (Celina Jade), the unlikely trio of Jaka, Payu, and Long Fei enter into an uneasy alliance to protect Xian and exact revenge from the nefarious villains who kill for profit.

The script for Triple Threat by Joey O’Bryan and Paul Staheli is incredibly weak. The characters are paper-thin. Their motivations are just as thin. The way everything unfolds is fairly rote and by the numbers. There’s not much in the way of suspense or tension as all these moving pieces fall into place for its violent showdown. Whenever the film is focused on anything other than action it’s very uninteresting.

When the plot gets out of the way, Triple Threat is a blast. Jesse V. Johnson plays to the strengths of his kick-ass cast, and the action unfolds in a variety of different ways. There’s a blend of various martial arts styles on display in the film’s numerous hand-to-hand combat scenes. Having action greats Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa taking on Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins provide some great thrills, and Johnson’s camera is focused on capture the speed of their movement in a single take rather than cutting quickly to present the illusion of speed. The action isn’t just limited to martial arts as Triple Threat also boasts some fun shoot outs with gory payoffs, though not as grotesquely gory as last year’s The Night Comes For Us. Thankfully, the people behind Triple Threat know why you’re watching and that means the weak aspects of plot and dialogue are just little moments of filler between the next big battle.

Triple Threat isn’t the finest hour of anyone involved. However, it’s still an entertaining action flick uniting some of the action genre’s best in a ballet of brutality. There’s still an aspect of Triple Threat that is disappointing as this roster of heroes and villains should make for something great and not simply adequate. But in an era where Hollywood isn’t producing mid-budgeted action fare this multinational production gives the audience plenty of high-octane action with some of the world’s best action stars doing what they do better than anyone else.

Triple Threat
  • Overall Score
3

Summary

Triple Threat boasts an impressive cast of action stars and delivers plenty of thrilling action when it’s not bogged down by a lackluster script that underwhelms on character and plot.

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