Triple Tap stars two of the biggest and best-looking actors Hong Kong has, but far from trying to cruise to box office success on their star mileage, this psychological-cop thriller has turned out to be one of the year’s more memorable Cantonese flicks, thanks to a smart, layered script and strong pacing.
At first, Triple Tap rolls out as a case of good guy being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Louis Koo plays high-flying investment banker Ken Kwan, a competitive marksman whose closest competitor on the shooting ground is police detective Jerry Chang (Daniel Wu). On a fateful afternoon, fresh from defeating Chang at a local shooting championship (thus nicely setting the tension between the two leads), Kwan stumbles across an armored van robbery on the highway and pulls the trigger on the robbers in the name of saving the traffic policeman who was confronting them. A well-scripted court scene fleshes out the interplay between morality and legislation—which is the higher order?
But just as justice is seemingly served and Kwan is exonerated from charges of murder and misuse of firearms, the plot spirals into a psychological game of cat-and-mouse, as Chang mulls over the missing pieces of the crime puzzle. What is a bright detective to do when fact points in one direction and logic in the other? The adroit pacing will keep audiences at the edge of their seats, with a smattering of well-timed dry humor eliciting a chuckle every now and then.
Immersive as an action flick and a cop thriller, Triple Tap is a reasonably taut ride by director Derek Yee (Protégé), barring one snag toward the end—a rather limp final sequence where a glaring loophole prevents it from being a truly satisfying watch.