Three of what seem to be the hardest working directors in Hong Kong have teamed together for Triangle, a heist flick that never pauses for breath.

Each director is responsible for a 30-minute segment, and there was apparently a lengthy gap between the productions of each. Unfortunately, I had difficulty recognising any stylistic difference between the three, though this may come from not being familiar with their work, save for Tsui Hark’s Vampire Hunters. The films hits the ground running and is rather confusing from the get-go. I can safely tell you that it involves a mysterious stranger and buried treasure, but don’t let the interesting premise fool you.Triangle (Tie saam gok) The first few scenes lay out the plan of the central protagonists rather frantically, and I hoped that the second segment would return to the beginning, à la Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt), but from a different perspective. No such luck. The tangled storyline continues throughout, and this wouldn’t be so much of a problem if it didn’t get in the way of character development.

I would normally think that this film simply suffered from a weak screenplay, but the knowledge that it was made ‘in relay’ makes me think it’s simply the result of compromise. The story is banal and nondescript, and any entertaining moments – whether laughs or cool violence – are fleeting. I really had no lasting impression of the players whatsoever. Fai, Lee Bo Sam and Mok Chun Yuan are pretty two dimensional in isolation, and I didn’t feel that the group was entertaining as a whole. The music was just about the only aspect of the film that truly impressed. Dave Klotz and Guy Zerafa’s score is firmly rooted in rather clichéd western (the culture, not the genre) musical cues.

Fans of Ringo Lam, Johnnie To and Tsui Hark may find something worthwhile here, but others almost certainly will not. It’s technically well made, even if the cinematography is rather drab, but it certainly doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

Rating: 1.5 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 7th August 2008
Hoopla Factor: 1.0 stars

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