Short Attention Span Review - Triple Threat (2019)
First off, let me acknowledge that as an action film, Triple Threat probably fails more than it succeeds. The plot is riddled with so many holes that it is fairly nonsensical, the dialogue is atrocious, and a few poignant scenes are so sorely out of place that they veer toward purely unintentional comedy. And, it should be noted, that as a kung-fu flick, it doesn't even approach the level of greatness that a venture with this cast could attain. However, anyone who gets their kicks from this sort of fare will find plenty to enjoy nonetheless, because even a bad rock 'em sock 'em movie with these cats winds up being mediocre. We've got Tony Jaa, Tiger Chen, Scott Adkins, and two of my all-time favorites, Iko Uwais and Michael Jai White, in the mix, after all. And while director Jesse V. Johnson fumbles where the exposition (and pretty much everything aside from the action bits) is concerned, he does capture some excellent martial arts mayhem. Unfortunately, some of the clashes are a bit too brief, and a few of these Grade A combatants never get to engage one another. Yet the fights we do get are compelling match-ups, and all of the players get to show their stuff to devastating effect. In particular, I loved seeing Uwais and White square off, and Adkins and Jaa also have a fantastic battle. Chen also shines, doing a fine job in his work with MMA vet Michael Bisping, who proves rather adept at cinematic fisticuffs. In truth, I think Adkins may steal the show, with his amazing talents establishing him as a stellar villain. Dude is so versatile and smooth, he makes dizzying acrobatics look easy, and he can play an arrogant badass with the very best of them. In a lot of ways, Triple Threat reminded me of one of those 90s martial arts movies I used to enjoy, pictures with guys like Gary Daniels, Don Wilson, and Billy Blanks taking on all comers. The movies themselves were quite pedestrian, but the fight scenes made them worthwhile. Triple Threat is far better than most of those, but it doesn't leave them in the dust the way it should. Regardless, if you're a fan of this sort of show, or an admirer of any of the people involved, this is one you can't pass up.
Final Grade: A very fun C
|As a movie, Triple Threat is prone to misfires. As a martial arts bonanza, it falls well short of its potential, but still emerges as a rollicking showcase for the extraordinary talent involved.|