Triple Threat (2019)

triplethreat

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This action ensemble cast become unleashed in Jesse V. Johnson’s long-awaited action thriller which may bring more story but the action is just as wild.

Payu and Long Fei are soldiers for hire who are in the jungles of Maya Jaha helping a band of soldiers release one of their own. However, the two trackers soon learn the truth about their new hires as the man they are helping rescue is the group’s leader, Collins, who is a notorious assassin. In the gunfire that ensues, the wife of Indonesian refugee Jaka is killed in the crossfire, prompting him to seek revenge. As for Payu and Long Fei, assassin gang member Devereux leaves the two to die, only for them to narrowly escape.

Tian Xiao Xien, who has inherited her father’s business, is planning to use her newfound money to help bring the crime syndicates in the area down. Singaporean crime boss Su Fei hires Collins and his team to assassinate Xiao Xien. Meanwhile, Payu and Long Fei compete in underground fights and when Payu wins, Long Fei finds himself facing Jaka, who is seething with vengeance. However, when Long Fei knocks him out, Payu instantly recognizes him and they seek to help him. When Jaka learns the truth, he decides he can trust the two as they are set to face Collins and his gang. When they find themselves helping Xiao Xien, the trio decide to put an end to Collins and the gang by any means necessary.

Stuntman turned filmmaker Jesse V. Johnson has become one of two go-to guys when it comes to working with British martial arts ace Scott Adkins (Isaac Florentine being the other). Where usually Adkins would play the hero in these films, this long-awaited thriller has Adkins playing the villain, a cold-blooded assassin named Collins. His introduction in the film has him sporting the look of a introduction of a broken Yuri Boyka in Undisputed III: Redemption before cleaning up to look more clean cut with beard with menacing attitude.

Part of the ensemble here are the members of Collins’ assassin group. Michael Jai White plays second-in-command Devareaux, who hires two of our heroes, in the opening mission sequence. Former MMA legend Michael “The Count” Bisping plays Joey, a tough as nails member of the group. Chocolate star Jeeja Yanin plays female assassin Mook while Thailand-based Dutch superkicker Ron Smoorenburg plays the glasses-wearing Steiner and former French Legion member turned actor/stunt performer Dominique Vandenburg plays Dom. Together, this is one group to stay away from as they will unleash all sorts of hell.

As for the titular Triple Threat, kudos must go out to the trio of Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Tiger Chen. Having earned a respectful fan base internationally, it is great to see these international action stars master English quite well with their interactions being natural. There are hints of cast members speaking other languages, such as Collins yelling in Thai to one police officer about Payu and Long Fei while Chinese is spoken between Long Fei and Xiao Xien, played by Chinese-American actress Celina Jade. Jaa even gets to provide a bit of comic relief in a scene involving Payu and his cooking skills.

Tim Man, another of Adkins’ frequent collaborators, choreographed the fight scenes here and instead of sticking to one particular set of skills, he gets the cast to showcase the skills they are best known for and utilize them to maximum effect. Jaa gets to showcase the Muay Thai skills that made him a legend with the Ong-Bak films with Uwais showcasing his Silat skills and Chen using his skills in Tai Chi and Kung Fu while Adkins gets to show his trademark kicking and tricking skills with White showcasing his versatile martial arts. Bisping gets to show why he is a mixed martial arts legend with his close quarter combat skills with Yanin, Smoorenburg, and Vandenburg getting some unarmed fight combat as well.

For those expecting nothing but action with this cast, prepare for some disappointment. However, for those who are looking for both story and action, then Triple Threat is definitely worth checking out. This is a great ensemble cast with an interconnection of two stories mixed into one hell of a wild ride from Jesse V. Johnson.

WFG RATING: B+

Well Go USA presents a Shanghai Alliance Films production in association with Hamilton Entertainment, Kungfuman Culture Media, and SC Films Thailand Co. Director: Jesse V. Johnson. Producers: Gary Hamilton, Michael Selby, Chen Sylen Hwa, Sheldon Pang, Elliot Tong, Ye Ying, and Mike Gabraway. Writer: Joey O’Bryan. Cinematography: Jonathan Hall. Editing: Matthew Lorentz.

Cast: Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, Celina Jade, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping, Jeeja Yanin, Ron Smoorenburg, Dominique Vandenburg, Michael Wong, Jennifer Ji Qun Yang, Monika Mok.

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