Saturday, 9 March 2013

Triad Review

Triad (2012)

Director: Daniel Yee Heng Chan

Writers: Chun Yu Kom, Si-Cheun Lee
Stars: Wai-Man Chan, Patrick Tam, Kwok Cheung Tsang, William Chan Wai-Ting, Michelle Wai
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Release Date: 15 November 2012 (Hong Kong)

IMDb = 4.3

Looking at the poster for Daniel Chan's new film Triad, you would assume it was a poster for the Young and Dangerous reboot. You would be wrong. However, Triad does borrow heavily from the original Young and Dangerous series. Even more weird, the director of Triad also directed the reboot Young and Dangerous Reloaded.

Triad takes place in the 90s during the hay day of the Hong Kong Triads. Set in the familiar busy neon streets of Hong Kong, the film follows 3 friends from the beginning of joining the Triads and following local boss Patrick(Patrick Tam). William(William Chan), an intelligent bookworm who has a bright future, decides to join the Triads which his 2 best friends Derek(Derek Tsang) and Edward(Edward Chui) are members of, and after the boss Patrick helps out his mother. Soon enough William is working his way up the ranks with his business smarts getting him respect and impressing the higher ups. One moneymaking scheme too far, and he ruins the activities of gang boss Ming (Lam Lei) and his wife Irene(Irene Wan). William also enters a dangerous feud with another up and comer Kin(Deep Ng). Now with trouble brewing between William and his Triad brothers, he must decide how far and how much he is willing to risk to succeed in the Triad world.

William Chan in his Chan Ho-nam type role

William Chan suits his role perfectly as a cool intelligent gangster, the changes he goes through in the film show him going from a timid young student to a high ranking swish gangster. One flaw in the film is the time period covered of 8 years or so is squeezed into a 90 minute film. This makes the story and character development seem a little rushed, and the film comes off a little flat. Sometimes there is just too much going on that you don't have time to digest or absorb what you have seen.

One major positive of Triad was the music! If you enjoyed the soundtrack of Young and Dangerous then you will love it. Largely inspired by Y&D, the songs have the similar sound which is now associated with HK Triad flicks. Some of the slower songs in the film sound like they could have been plucked right out of any of the Young and Dangerous films.

Triad is a very appropriate name for this film as it is very Triad'y. Daniel Chan tells an all too familiar story by basically combining elements from popular Triad flicks such as Election and As Tears Go By. I can't tell if it's a nod to these popular films or if he is cashing in on their success by giving people what they want. And Triad gives you what you want... If what you want is a generic Triad flick. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this film, it was fun. But it was nothing new. Nothing different or challenging. But, if like me, you enjoy any Hong Kong Triad film then you too will enjoy Daniel Chan's "Triad".

Check it out, it's worth a watch, but I do hope Daniel Chan's next film, Young and Dangerous Reloaded is better.


Available on DVD and Blu-Ray on Yesasia

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