Well Go Usa // 2010 // 118 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 16th, 2011
Paging Mr. Nugent.
It may not be the action picture the Blu-ray cover art would have you believe, but Triple Tap serves up an interesting crime caper set against the backdrop of China's tight gun control.
Superstar competitive marksman Ken Kwan (Louis Koo) is on his way back from another pistol competition, when he stumbles on an armored car hijacking in progress. Pressed into defending the guards under siege, Ken peels out his sweet pistol and gets his violence on. The resulting investigation connects Kwan with Officer Jerry Chong (Daniel Wu), a rival on the shooting circuit. As Chong digs through the circumstances of the hold-up, new layers are revealed, personas are altered, and -- eventually -- guns are fired.
I have a problem with studios pumping up releases as big-time actioners when they most definitely are not. A provocative title, an imposing shot of Louis Koo screaming while holding a gun, and accolades praising Triple Tap's adrenaline-pumping action. Nope. This is a straight crime drama, with next-to-no-action. Here's the totality of the mayhem: a shooting competition in the beginning, the armored car hold-up, and some odd gunplay fantasies at the end that don't even come to fruition.
What's left is the strongest element of the film: the chemistry between its two leads. Koo and Wu are rock-solid as the two rivals embroiled in a violent robbery. Are they antagonists or is there something these two have in common? It's a murky relationship and clarity doesn't arrive until a large plot twist halfway through. And it's a good one, essentially altering the course of the film and the characters' stakes.
Still, I come up short of issuing Triple Tap a full-on recommendation. The two actors turn in great performances and generate some genuine sparks when onscreen together, but the storyline is too drawn out (a bloated 118 minutes) and the dearth of action really does slow things down. Director Derek Yee would have been better off either pruning his production or injecting just a bit more bombast into to the proceedings. As it stands, Triple Tap is merely a serviceable cop story and not much else.
Well Go USA tends to do good work with their Blu-ray releases, and this one stacks up. The 1.78:1/1080p high definition widescreen treatment is beautiful, popping with colorful, clear visual fidelity. Two Cantonese audio tracks push the sound: a 2.0 stereo track, and a fairly quiet but effective 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. Two (standard-def) extras: cast interviews, and a couple of uninteresting deleted scenes.
For what it's worth, there are a lot of grammar problems in the subtitles, which can get pretty distracting.
Strong acting and a so-so plot just aren't enough to overcome lethargic pacing and a distinct lack of triple-tapping. Great-looking Blu-ray, though.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Well Go Usa
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Cantonese)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Cantonese)
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes