Triad Wars (2008) comes straight out of Hong Kong with cool looking gangsters and loud action–and that’s just about it. The film has a defined story however, the sub stories and means to tie into the main story are done haphazardly, and the nature of the films characters were hardly explored. Not even martial arts legend Sammo Hung as a main character could rouse up much excitement. Triad Wars tries to entertain, but over all remains a confusing action smorgasbord.
Lin Ho Lung (Hung) is Hong Kong’s top Triad boss. In honor of the birth of his son, he throws a lavish party with all of his gangster friends. However, he begins to discover his closest allies are drifting farther apart and the Hong Kong Police Department has set their eyes on dismantling his operations. Sure enough, a Triad war breaks out on all fronts and the body count is piling up. Lung decides he must resort to gruesome actions to maintain his reign of power.
What suffered? Character and story development. Most of the sub stories between either rival factions or scheming members of the Lung gang aren’t thoroughly explained or (in the case of Lung’s wife Leung Yuet Lin (Kelly Chu) reserved for the last ten minutes of the film. The majority of the film’s duration features, on one hand, Wu Jing‘s impressive sword wielding skills and shootouts. The other, unfortunately, the gore was nothing more than B-grade stomach churning and it really downplays what should be really intense. Gross out gags can only take a film so far.
What sells this film is Hung and Jing’s martial art skills, which should have been a forefront for all the action in the film. The budget of the film could have been distributed more evenly, meaning less fancy clothes and more shots of Hong Kong Island and better location setups.
Although it is yet another entry into the gangster film genre, it had potential to be far better than what it turned out to be.
Triad Wars DVD Special features include:
- The making of Triad Wars
- Deleted scenes
- Trailer Gallery
- Widescreen Presentation
- Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
- English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
- Optional English and Spanish Subtitles
In the making of Triad Wars, the cast give their thoughts on working with each other and their insights into the script and how they liked the character relationships. It seems that Kelly was the favorite cast member, always having fun and joking in between scenes. Wu Jing and Sammo Hung discuss their previous work together as well as the thrill of shooting the final fight scene in the film. The deleted scenes aren’t necessarily important; however, add a little more detail than what presents in the original film footage. Triad Wars is presented in clear widescreen presentation with clear, definite audio.