Triad (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
August 27, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Triad” may appeal to those who can’t get enough of HK gangster films. But for those who have been spoiled by wonderful gangster films from decades or years past, will feel that “Triad” is one of the weakest, unsatisfying gangster films ever made.
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DVD TITLE: Triad
FILM RELEASE DATE: 2013
DURATION: 92 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: Cantones 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
AVAILABLE ON: August 26, 2014
Directed by Daniel Yee Heng Chan
Screenplay by Chun Yu Kom, Si-Cheun Lee, Link Ling, Frankie Tam, Ka Yee Yim, Ming-Ho Yip
Executive Producers: Kin Hung Ng, Albert Yeung
Music by Ronald Ng
Cinematography by Wade Muller
Edited by Chi Wai Yu
Production Design by Tony Yu
William Chan Wai-Ting as William
Michelle Wai as Michelle
Patrick Tam as Patrick
Kwok Cheung Tsang as Derek
Irene Wan as Irene
Wai-Man Chan as Mun
Three childhood friends join the Hong Kong Triads, only to discover that fame and fortune will ultimately break them apart as only one can become the leader of the gang.
How far would one go to grow in the ranks of the Triad?
From filmmaker Daniel Yee Heng Chan (“Cross”) comes a tale about one young man named William (portrayed by singer William Chan Wai-Ting), a young man who was saved along with his elder mother by Patrick (portrayed by Patrick Tam).
As William grows in the triad along with his buddies Derek and Edward and get into trouble, a bar incident which nearly ignites a gang war brings William to grow up and become a college graduate and a fighter who wants to help out his criminal organization, as he is indebted to Patrick for saving him years ago.
But as William returns back home with his girlfriend Michelle (portrayed by Michelle Wai) and his ambition is to make more money, but growing in the ranks starts to hurt William as his ambitions put him in odds with his girlfriend and his gang due to the decisions he has made.
But how far will William go in order to climb the ranks of the triad, especially when he has his sights set on winning the election.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Triad” is presented in 16:9 widescreen and Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital. Picture quality is good on DVD. Shot digitally, the film does have a cleaner appearance but for the most part, looks good on DVD with no excessive artifacts or any video-related problems. The audio quality does feature moments where music is heard form the surround channels but for the most part, this film is primarily dialogue-driven.
Subtitles are in English.
“Triad” comes with “A Making Of” featurette (8:19) and a theatrical trailer.
One can’t blame filmmaker Daniel Yee Heng Chan for the banality of “Triad”.
After decades of quality gangster films, films with star power let alone good names backing the film, Chan’s “Triad” seems more of a low budget affair that seems much more reminiscent of ’80s Hong Kong gangster films that capitalized on large number of gangs hacking and slashing at each other and the odds against the protagonists succeeding are slim.
The problem with “Triad” is that it tries to rely on actor William Chan Wai-Ting that it’s hard to believe the pop star is a crime boss.
Granted, the story is inspired by a true story from the ’90s of a college graduate who chose to use his intelligence to improve the quality of life of his brothers in the Triad but the film really offers nothing that makes an impact on the viewer. Yes, we know that the life of a triad member is dangerous but the film leaves you feeling incomplete and you are left asking yourself, “is this it?”.
Unfortunately, the film is one of the weakest Hong Kong gangster films that I have seen in quite some time.
It’s too simplistic in structure and a weak storyline that hinders anything exciting and last, the characters are not well-utilized and makes you wonder if the years of “Days of Being Wild”, “Young & Dangerous”, “A Better Tomorrow”, “Arrest the Restless”, “Hard Boiled”, “Infernal Affairs” was the peak of Hong Kong cinema because the ’80s, ’90s and 2000’s had its fair share of memorable gangster films.
As for the DVD, the film looks good on DVD, while it’s soundtrack is primarily utilized for music. Dialogue is clear and special features are limited to a short making of and trailer.
Overall, “Triad” may appeal to those who can’t get enough of HK gangster films. But for those who have been spoiled by wonderful gangster films from decades or years past, will feel that “Triad” is one of the weakest, unsatisfying gangster films ever made.
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