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Champion competitive marksman Ken comes across an armored van robbery. He sees a policeman held hostage and shoots and kills four of the robbers. One of the robbers escapes and the policeman survives. The case is handled by Jerry Chang, whom Ken knows from having recently beaten him in a shooting match. Ken is found not guilty in court. Soon after, Ken is attacked by the escaped robber Pang Tao. Their confrontation reveals a very different background story and brings about a myriad of lies and traps and changes in relationships as Jerry and Ken try to outsmart each other.
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The plot is predictable, although I will say that its pacing and method for twists and reveals was satisfying even if I did anticipate the developments. The excellent direction from Tung-Shing Yee kept the movie slick and interesting. From flashbacks to a one of a kind tv static special effect used to reflect mental distress, everything was shot and edited expertly for a very pleasing experience.
Much of the movie focuses on Louis Koo's character Kwan who becomes more and more distressed as the movie unfolds. Koo's performance is much more than I was expecting from this movie and is a major factor in my ranking this film higher than I might have considering the rather obvious plot. In the beginning, his performance as Kwan as a calm, quiet man is fine, but when suspicions and troubles pile up on Kwan, Koo becomes absolutely intense as a man cracking under the pressure. The plot didn't bring half as many thrills as Koo's performance.
As far as action, there really isn't any. Triple Tap is all about the psychological element, and unlike it's predecessor Double Tap, totally hones in on this element and eschews the regular shootouts that kept the pace of Double Tap. The action would have had to been crowbarred unpleasantly into the story, so it's no sad absence. However, I mention it since I myself entered the movie expecting the shootouts and figured I would warn any action fans looking to Triple Tap that this is not the movie for explosive setpieces.
Overall, I would give the story itself 3 out of 5, but the direction and acting are both 5 out of 5 so Triple Tap fits nicely at a 4 out of 5.
"Triple Trap," which means quickly shooting three times at exactly the same spot, begins at a shooting range that looks like a movie set, where a competition is taking place. We meet Inspector Jerry Wong (Daniel Wu), who just successfully established a record in his category by scoring a double tap (shooting quickly two times at the same spot). He is followed by Ken Kwan (Louis Koo), a competitive shooter. Kwan beats Wong with a new record, scoring a triple tap. Once the competition is finished, and while on his way home, Kwan finds an armored truck robbery taking place, and decides to take action, shooting and killing some thieves, while trying to save a traffic cop. One of the thieves escapes. However, Ken is captured by the police as a suspect, with Inspector Wong handling the case. Wong, being an honest cop, and knowing that Kwan is a successful investor with a clean record, decides to charge him with murder and possession of arms, the reason being that Kwan broke the fire arm legislation. However, as expected, Kwan is found not guilty at the trial, and goes free. Simple and easy, Right? Not so. This is when the good stuff begins, as Inspector Wong gets suspicious of Kwan, who happens to be too smart for his own good. The story then moves to who is smarter than the other.
"Triple Trap" is not only about competition in the shooting range, but also in real life, as the movie takes place in the world of high-finance, at Hong Kong's Wall Street, during our current economic crisis. It is clever and suspenseful - great entertainment directed by Tung-Shing Yee. The Blu-ray + DVD edition includes deleted scenes, interviews and more. (Hong Kong, 2010, color, 118 mins plus additional materials).
Reviewed on Monday, December 12, 2011 exclusively by Eric Gonzalez for Well Go USA.
TRIPLE TAP [2010, Hong Kong]