Do you remember when people were looking forward to The Expendables? Every major action legend in the same movie! Now that was a mouth-watering prospect. Unfortunately, the movie itself and its sequels were a far cry from the flicks Sly Stallone and co. made back in their respective glory days. If that saga taught us anything, it’s that we should keep our expectations in check whenever something seems too good to be true.
I don’t have that concern with Triple Threat, though. Like The Expendables, this movie has gathered some bona fide action greats to mix it up together. Only, in this case, these warriors are all very much still in their primes and doing what they do best. If you don’t believe me, check out this incredible trailer below and see for yourself.
Now that’s a trailer. The movie appears to be a cocktail of carnage and an action-packed extravaganza. That’s all it needs to be. The premise is simple. A crime syndicate puts a hit out on the daughter of a billionaire, which draws an elite squad of assassins out in droves to claim the prize. Standing in their way, however, is a team of down-and-out mercenaries who vow to protect the target from the hired guns. Chaos and mayhem then ensue as the opposing factions go to war.
As Matthew noted in our list of the most anticipated movies of 2019, Triple Threat is going to be the action flick to beat this year. While Hobbs & Shaw and John Wick: Chapter 3 will provide the thrills to the masses, Triple Threat is one for the genre aficionados who like their action with less Hollywood sheen and more bloody-knuckled brutality. Punches and kicks will land with force, bullets will fly, and people will be pulverized.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Triple Threat, but the cast alone had us sold from the moment it was announced. The unbelievable ensemble consists of some of the most talented onscreen martial artists on the planet right now, including Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Tiger Chen, Scott Adkins, Michael Bisping, Celina Jade, JeeJa Yanin, and — the modern face of Indonesian action cinema himself — Iko Uwais. As Neil rightfully pointed out when the film’s Comic-Con trailer dropped in 2017, any movie with this roster of talent involved is a gift that proves the world isn’t always bad.
For the most part, every player involved here has operated on the outskirts of the big time, mostly opting to star in movies that aren’t watered down. Still, several of them have cropped up in movies that lots of people know well. Jai White was one of the first onscreen black superheroes, having starred in Spawn. Adkins briefly appeared in Doctor Strange, but he could easily lead his own superhero franchise and would make a great Batman. Jaa, meanwhile, appeared in Furious 7 and xXx: Return of Xander Cage, but neither movie allowed him to fully showcase his awe-inspiring ability. Bisping also appeared in Return of Xander Cage, but most people know him from his successful MMA career. Uwais, on the other hand, briefly showed up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he was completely misused in Mile 22. If you want to see them at their best, then check out the movies where they’ve been the stars of the show.
The good news is that director Jesse V. Johnson will make the most of the talented folks available to him. The stunt co-ordinator made the jump to directing in the late 1990s and has since established himself as a reliable force in the DTV action arena. He knows exactly what fans want, and he’ll damn sure deliver the goods here. His brand of entertainment is bloody, hard-hitting, and visceral, and Triple Threat looks like his most ambitious project to date. This movie is in damn good hands.
Personally, I’m also pumped to see Western audiences become more familiar with Yanin. The Thai actress has deserved to be a massive international action star since making her debut in 2008’s Chocolate. That movie, which saw her play an autistic girl taking on ruthless criminals on her lonesome, is an absolute blast and deserves more recognition. If Triple Threat gives her an opportunity to shine — and it will — she’ll be one step closer to becoming a household name.
As far as action movies go, Triple Threat appears to have it all. It’s a real event movie for the midnight crowd and is bound to please anyone who loves some cinematic smackdowns. If the ingredients mix together well — and they will — this will be one tasty treat. Seeing masters of a craft teaming up to make magic happen together is what cinema is all about, and when it comes to ass-kicking, this cast is untouchable. Don’t be surprised if this flick becomes a genre classic.