Triple Threat Blu-ray Review


More like Sextuplet Threat

Undoubtedly the draw to Triple Threat is the cast, full of contemporary martial artists, chasing one another down, ending in expected stand-offs. It’s spectacular in that sense, if not to the wily perfection of say, The Raid and its sequel, but still gruesomely brutal with the litany of muay thai knees.

Triple Threat pits Thailand against the world, with Tony Jaa standing up for this country as a poor villager turned mercenary. That’s key – the Thailand drug trade is depicted not as their problem, rather one from the outside. Chinese, Indonesian, and even British forces corrupt the pure people of Thailand. As with Jaa’s other imports, there’s a definitive sense of national pride, but one built on hope, not bland jingoism.

This dissolves into a chase through various city streets, Jaa paired with Tiger Hu Chen in a rush to the Chinese embassy. Mercs – Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping – run the duo down, hunting for a payday to preserve the British drug trade. Soon, that underlying cause fades to the background. Triple Threat concerns itself with hyper-action. A slew of street-level shoot-outs wane in interest, interrupted by physical stand-offs, infinitely more interesting in choreography.

Its fights, even with the gorgeous movement and speed, fail in their ability to stand out

Bits of character force themselves in. Jaa’s a specialist chef, a detail without purpose. Villains do villainous things – money is the ultimate corrupter – and Hu Chen performs a requisite hero role. It’s Iko Uwais who stands out, bouncing between sides, trying to recover from loss and tragedy. He’s the middle role, friend/foe, representing those trapped in the middle of ongoing drug wars. Triple Threat finds a moral center through him, the lone bit a nuance in a movie where someone explodes from a point blank grenade launcher blast.

Despite the cast, Triple Threat falls into a pattern. In an era where martial arts cinema finds itself ever more lavish or brutish, Triple Threat doesn’t have that captivating moment. Its fights, even with the gorgeous movement and speed, fail in their ability to stand out. Heroes win, villains lose. In-between, fan service pits Jaa and Adkins against one another. That’s a dream fight, if over too soon.

There’s a sense of building stakes by pitting scrappy hand-to-hand fighters against a legion of muscled, gun-toting brutes. That works, if taking too long to sort itself out. Jaa and crew need to disarm their opposition, spending a good chunk of Triple Threat trying to figure out how. That’s less interesting to watch, even if the thematic punch naturally puts economically suppressed Thailand against a first world opponent.

Video

Color grading is a major factor for Triple Threat. Aggressive blues will overtake black levels, for instance. Heavy orange skews flesh tones, and other scenes cake themselves in red. A few scenes of super saturation bring out brilliant primaries. It’s all over the place.

That’s the intention though. Well Go’s disc doesn’t struggle, and if anything, keeps intent pure. It’s in-line with some of their other Asian offerings with comparable style. Similarly, intense, sweaty close-ups deserve praise for their lavish definition. Facial texture jumps out, consistent in purity and clarity.

On Blu-ray, this comes across as slightly marred. Walls will swarm with noise in spots. Some haze/smoke/fog enlarges the issue. Expect some lighter shadows to reveal banding too. That reaches some severe levels, if briefly. In an overall view, detail, texture, and resolution win out though.

Audio

DTS-HD emboldens gunfire, rich in bass, tight and heavy. Grenade blasts erupt. Later, kicks and punches earn some hearty low-end accentuation. It’s a lot of fun and exceptional in range.

Surrounds light up with bullets. Rarely is directional activity specific, rather creating a cloud of action. It’s enough to sound involved and in the middle of this chaos. Ambiance comes alive in a few segments, including jungle calls and a dog barking in a city that jumps from the left rear successfully.

Extras

A 10-minute segment of edited interviews brings in everyone from the main cast, each in full promo mode. Some trailers factor in afterward, but that’s it for Triple Threat.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Triple Threat
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins square off in Triple Threat, a generally bland movie highlighted by a handful of one-on-one encounters.

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