Triple Threat is the latest martial arts action opus to hit the big screen from Well Go USA entertainment. Stuntman turned film director Jesse V. Johnson has enlisted a who’s who of martial artists and direct to home market action stars for his latest project. The cast includes Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, and Michael Bispin.
A tight knit Special Forces unit led by Devereaux (Michael Jai White) is on a humanitarian mission in Thailand. The team has hired local kickboxers and mercenaries Payu (Tony Jaa) and Long Fei (Tiger Chen) to assist in them. It turns out that Payu and Long Fei know shouldn’t have gotten involved Collins’s crew as they are actually killers for hire. The group’s real goal was to rescue their boss Collins (Scott Adkins).
After rescuing their boss, the Special Forces unit decides to leave Payu and Long Fei for dead. During the chaos, the wife of Jaka (Iko Uwais) ends up dead. Seeking revenge Jaka decides to track down Payu and Long Fei for some answers. Meanwhile, Collin’s crew have a new kill contract to take out Xian (Celina Jade). Xian is a billionaire daughter looking to take a crime syndicate. Jaka, Long Fei, and Payu join forces to not only protect Xian but also to take revenge.
One of the most enjoyable times in life for me was my teen years and going to my local video store. I can recall every Tuesday there would be a new straight to video semi-budget action film to rent. Watching Triple Threat, I was back to the days of PM Entertainment and Imperial Entertainment who specialized in the direct to home market action movies in the mid-nineties.
Joey O’Bryan’s script is a simple one, as movies like Triple Threat don’t need the strongest script. The script’s main focus is to give our heroes and villains reasons to fight. In that aspect, it succeeds as some of the best film’s fight scenes occur in the first twenty minutes. The rest of the movie gives each member in the cast a chance to shine, showcasing their signature fighting as well some impressive gun battles.
However with a cast this strong, I did expect a bit more. Director Jesse V. Johnson and Joey O’Bryan script should’ve used the standard martial arts tournament for the plot’s backdrop. By using a martial arts tournament for the plot, we may have had a chance for some more awesome fight scenes. One of the biggest disappointments for me was the under usage of one my favorite action stars Michael Jai White. While White does get a chance to shine in the film’s climax, I would’ve loved to see him in a more prominent role.
Despite Michael Jai White catching the short end of the stick, the film makes up for it with its big action climax, where it’s every man for himself. I won’t spoil who fights who, but I will say that the closing is currently my favorite action sequence of 2019.
Triple Threat isn’t the action fest that I was hoping for, nor will the film win any big awards. However, Triple Threat is an enjoyable time waster for action fans and worth a rental.
Final Grade B-