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Movie Review

Payu and Long Fei are seasoned trackers hired to help find a secret military camp hidden somewhere in an East Asian jungle. They were told by the mercenary soldiers they're guiding that they're on a rescue mission: a chance to free an unjustly detained group of political prisoners.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

The real reason these heavily armed merc killers want to find that secret government camp is to free their boss, an international terrorist and assassin named Collins. They plan to break him out and then murder everyone else, including Payu and Long Fei.

Fortunately for the two trackers, they're more than just guides. They're seasoned soldiers in their own right. And pretty accomplished ones, too. They know how to squeak out of tight, deadly corners. And by the hair on their chinny-chin-chins, they avoid being obliterated by the C-4 explosives the merc team leaves behind.

Turns out someone else escaped the death-dealing at the camp as well. A guerilla fighter and fellow martial artist by the name of Jaka also makes it out. The man's wife, however, does not.

That leaves a trio of angry men with a certain set of skills. And these proficient and provoked fighters now have a common cause. As they begin tracking the murderous mercs, they realize that the killers are already locked in on another violent assignment: assassinating a certain Chinese heiress.

So this triple threat of Payu, Long Fei and Jaka now has a simple and clear objective: Save the young woman … and track down and kill all the evildoers involved.

Painfully.

Positive Elements

Much of the film's action centers around Tian Xiou Xian, a Chinese heiress who has been bequeathed a great fortune. She publically announces her desire to use the money to give aid to the poor and to fight back against drug and crime syndicates that are terrorizing local Asian communities. "It's an investment in humanity," she declares.

When the mercenaries move to eliminate Xiou, they kill everyone around her and send her running for cover. That's when Payu, Long Fei and Jaka step up to protect her. They all, at some point in the film, put their lives on the line to shield the earnest young woman and keep her from harm's way. One of the men even leaps in front of a gunman and takes a bullet in the shoulder on Xiou's behalf at one point.

Spiritual Content

After many people are murdered in the hidden camp, Jaka gathers the bodies and buries them. He then prays to his deceased wife's spirit, saying, "Forgive me for what I have to do. I have no choice."

Sexual Content

None, really, though male combatants often spar sans shirts.

Violent Content

It's no surprise that this martial arts film can get pretty violent in its mano-a-mano beatdowns. Men are thrown around, smashed through wooden and stone walls, and knocked into tables and metal cabinets. They're brutally punched and kicked. Bones break. People get thwacked upside the head with cinder blocks as well as any nearby pieces of broken furniture or detritus.

That's all bad enough. But some other more extreme moments cross a much, much messier line. For instance, a female mercenary gets hit at point-blank range by an explosive round, and her body is reduced to a mound of gore, protruding bone and entrails. The mercenaries also use other high-powered weaponry that reduces scores of victims to bursts of goop as projectiles rip viciously into innocent bystanders and police officers. Blood sprays walls and the camera lens as well.

We also see up-close attacks where throats are slashed, necks are snapped and torsos are impaled. A man is savagely choked out with a length of chain. Another gets hit so hard in the head that it splits his scalp open, coating his face in blood before he passes out. An older man is strung up and left hanging by his hands after being killed. Several people are stabbed and lacerated by large knives.

Crude or Profane Language

Some 20 f-words and about 10 s-words are joined by multiple uses of "b--tard," "d--n," "h---" and "a--hole." Jesus' name is misused four or five times. Someone uses the British profanity "bloody," and crude references to male and female genitalia are spit out several times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A news report pictures government officials securing kilos of heroin. Several characters smoke cigarettes and cigars. And nearly everyone in the movie drinks beer or hard liquor during meals or in public settings.

Other Negative Elements

Payu, Long Fei and Xiou all find themselves locked in a small restaurant while hiding from pursuing thugs. So they essentially steal the establishment's food and beer, then settle in for an impromptu meal together.

Conclusion

Martial arts fare often tends to fall into one of three categories: the comic, the graceful and the brutal. Triple Threat definitely lands with a wincing bone-crunch in that last painful group.

We see scores of bullet-riddled bloody deaths and lethal 'splosions, to be sure, even a gratuitously graphic kill shot now and again. But this pic is really all about well-choreographed poundings and excruciating beatdowns. Opponents may begin a scene blowing things away with the most deadly and destructive weaponry you can think of. But by scene's end, who needs a laser-guided rifle when you can break out a guy's teeth with a few triple-flip kicks to the face?

The resulting action flick is savage and visceral. Sure, we meet three heroes making their way through a muddied good-guy narrative. But Triple Threat isn't really as much about heroism as it is an excuse to unleash its martial artists' flying fists … and frenzied f-bombs.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Celina Jade as Tian Xiou Xian; Scott Adkins as Collins; Tiger Hu Chen as Long Fei; Tony Jaa as Payu; Iko Uwais as Jaka; Michael Jai White as Devereaux

Director

Jesse V. Johnson ( )

Distributor

Well Go USA Entertainment

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

March 19, 2019

On Video

May 14, 2019

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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