Triangle | Tie Saam Gok 2007
This was the official website for the 2007 action Hong Kong film, Triangle, (in Chinese Tie saam gok) which is told in three 30-minute segments.
The content below is from a variety of sources.
Director: Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark
Screenplay: Yau Nai-Hoi, Au Kin-Yee, Yip Tin-Shing, Sharon Chung, Kenny Kan
Cast: Simon Yam, Louis Koo, Yip Chun, Lam Suet, Kelly Lin
Producers: Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Triangle 2007 Trailer
What happens when a trio of legendary filmmakers challenge each other to a cinematic game? TRIANGLE is what happens, that’s what. Conceived as a challenge between three close friends who also happen to be major Hong Kong film directors, TRIANGLE is a single story helmed in stages by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnnie To. Here’s how it works: Tsui (SEVEN SWORDS, THE BLADE, ZU WARRIORS) kicks things off, scripting and directing the opening third before passing the reins to Ringo Lam. For his part, Lam (FULL CONTACT, CITY ON FIRE, FULL ALERT) must respect the characters and rules that Hark laid down in his act, but is otherwise free to take the story wherever he wants before passing things off to Johnnie To (ELECTION, EXILED, BREAKING NEWS). It’s To’s task must wrap things up and bring it to a close.
Tsui throws down the gauntlet in the opening act, introducing a trio of down-on-their-luck friends considering pulling a heist for some much-needed cash. One of the trio, played by Louis Koo, is also doing double duty, pulling thefts for a triad gang while selling information to a hard-assed cop. The second member of the group (Simon Yam) is being cuckolded by the cop Koo is snitching to, and the cop, both clever and ruthless, is leaning on Koo to take Yam along on a job so the police can swoop in, catch Yam in the act, and clear the path to Yam’s wife. Got that? TRIANGLE is a clever, densely plotted affair that sees Tsui, Lam and To pushing themselves and each other as hard as they can and it’s a rush to see each of the trio rise to the challenge in their own unique style.
It wasn't all it could have been...
13 July 2013 | by Paul Magne Haakonsen(Denmark)
For a movie that has been put together by three of the heavyweight directors of Hong Kong cinema, you would expect nothing short of a masterpiece to be the end result. However, that was not really the case with "Triangle".
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that "Triangle" is a bad or boring movie, far from it actually. The storyline in the movie is good and well put together, although it just tended to drag on in long sequences. There are far better movies available from the Hong Kong cinema compared to this one.
Aside from the three directors, then "Triangle" does have some rather good and established Hong Kong actors to the cast list; Louis Koo and Simon Yam really did carry the movie quite nicely.
There is a lot of action in the movie, which works out quite well, however the last part of the movie that takes place in a small outdoors food vendor in the nature (I assume this is somewhere in the New Territories) tended to become a little too much, especially because there was some comedy and humor attended to throw into that scene, which just ended up making the scene worse.
"Triangle" is a solid enough movie with good performances, however, I had just initially expected something extraordinary to come from a collaboration between Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnnie To.
Cinema Talk Review:
29 05 2008
An admirable experiment made unremarkable by the fact that all three directors play things very safe. Obviously, I wasn’t expecting some sort of masterpiece but I still anticipated something a bit more than just a nicely photographed action film. If Hong Kong action films were at the risk of drifting into self-parody then this film does nothing to prevent that. It unintentionally shows just how unimaginative these guys are since they all basically submit to conventions. Still, a half-decent way to kill 90 minutes.
Three men, all plagued with a list of personal problems, devise a possible heist. They are given a tip that treasure is hidden inside a legislative office. One of the heist participants, Bo, is an even tighter predicament as his wife, Ling, is having an affair with an officer that continues to tail them. That’s pretty much it, though, of course, there’s plenty of gunfights and car chases to bring up the film’s running time.
Tsui Hark is the first one up and he is at a distinct disadvantage because he has to essentially setup the whole film. Unsurprisingly, he chooses something skull-crushingly banal. Look, I’m fine with these films since they all end up looking beautiful but considering the fact that this is essentially an experiment, can’t we find something a bit less contrived? It seems that Tsui puts the other two directors (Ringo Lam and Johnny To) in positions that basically cuts off any type of creativity.
To their credit, all three do try at least one “out-there” idea in their respective segments. Ringo Lam throws in some weird Wong Kar-Wai/perfume commercial dance sequence and Johnny To throws in a fat retarded guy. Of course, the film looks great, too, even though I might go as far as to say that all modern Hong Kong films look this good. And yes, it is entertaining in a mindless superficial way, but even just as that, it’s still loaded with problems.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
TOMATOMETER CRITICS 55% | AUDIENCE 44%
Thursday 28 August 2008 19.06 EDT First published on Thursday 28 August 2008
Xan Brooks Guardian
Three Hong Kong stalwarts - Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnny To - play the filmic equivalent of pass-the-parcel on Triangle, a convoluted crime caper about a mysterious gold coin and the luckless bozos on its trail. Blame Hark for the convolutions: his opening segment leaves a knot of endless, fiendish subplots for his successors to unpick, tidy and then resolve. Devotees of the genre will no doubt relish contrasting the Hark style with the Lam stamp and the To brand. The rest of us have our work cut out figuring out who's what and where and why as Triangle zig-zags gamely towards the inevitable gun-popping finale.
But there is an inescapable air of disappointment that three brilliant directors have handed in a movie that barely scratches the potential of the experiment.
August 29, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
To's stylishly choreographed, action-led finale wraps things up with a blackly humorous and suspenseful stand-off in an outdoor restaurant.
August 29, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
Mark Salisbury Total Film
Little of it however, is genuinely striking enough to suggest a welcome reception beyond the already converted.
August 29, 2008 | Rating: 2/6
Trevor Johnston Time Out | Top Critic
A convoluted crime caper with strong ethical underpinnings to support its many moods and styles
October 21, 2008
Anton Bitel Little White Lies
**** JY Skacto
Triangle is such an appropriate title for this Hong Kong crime thriller. It isn't just because the story revolves around 3 friends, but more that this film is directed by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To.
Ringo Lam steps in for the middle portion and does a good job at settling things down and clearing things up. The story advances at a slower pace and it sets everything up for the finale.
The last 30 minutes, helmed by Johnnie To, is the best part of the film. He is able to wrap everything up by bringing all the major characters together and putting on one of his trademark shootouts, which is the biggest action sequence of the film.
All the actors are no strangers to this genre. Simon Yam, Louis Koo, and Honglei Sun carry this picture with help from Ka Tung Lam and the beautiful Kelly Lin.
Triangle does have a shaky start, but the film gets better with each director change. Fans of Hong Kong crime thrillers will want to take a look at this one.
**½ Tsubaki Sanjuro
Maybe it was me, but i didn't feel that this worked well. I won't blame the direction, which is quite fine except the first act, the script is full of characters, sub-plots and a lot of stuff that goes on and off for no real reason. The cast is great, and Suet Lam almost steals the whole thing. But i never cared about the characters, and neither i felt that they were in any danger until the final part. Making a movie with 3 directors of this caliber should have been something else, but the script was written by....six people? Now that sounds like too much hands for such a medium dish. All that said, it's good to see the HK industry willing to experiment a bit instead of trying to make another Infernal Affairs or some crap with canto-pop idols. Hope that they can nail it the next.
***½ Tony C
April 20, 2009
Saw this movie on a DVD I discovered at the condo rental in Kaanapali my friends I were staying at during a spring break. We had spent an exhilarating, but exhausting day on a bicycle tour called the Sunrise Special. We were up at 3 AM to arrive at Haleakala’s 10,023′ summit to view the sunrise at the rim of the crater. After a 1 ½ hour tour of the summit we were taken back down by van to just outside of the park’s entrance at 6,500 feet. There we were given Kona mountain bikes, helmets, backpacks, rain/wind gear, gloves and a map with points of interest so we could complete a self-guided 23 mile bike ride down the mountain back to the tour company’s headquarter in Haiku. We finally arrived back at Kaanapali where we enjoyed another spectacular Maui sunset from our condo’s lanai while waiting for dinner to be delivered. Thank goodness for takeout. I found the Triangle in the stack of DVD’s in the living room and suggested we watch while chilling for the evening. I was excited that this film is directed by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To, 3 brilliant Hong Kong directors. Visually the three sections of the film were amazing. After all its Hong Kong. But we were all pretty wiped out from the bicycle tour and trying to unwind the clever, densely plotted story line was a bit confusing. The film is so full of characters, sub-plots and a lot of stuff that goes on and off for no real reason, that after a couple of beers we decided to just relaxed and stopped trying to figure everything out. OK, I get that these legendary filmmakers wanted to challenge each other to a cinematic game, but the film did have a shaky start. Fortunately Triangle got better with each director change AND it had a superb finale. I agree with the other reviewer who said he think fans of Hong Kong crime thrillers will definitely want to check out Triangle. I’ll probably want to catch the movie again when I am not so exhausted.
****½ August 24, 2008
Entertaining from start to finish and surprisingly tight, for a movie with 3 directors.
*** ½ August 24, 2008
it didn't keep my attention...i fell asleep twice watching it.
**** Richard B
August 19, 2008
The beginning's a bit of a headache but what follows is a frequently intruiging parody of the crime genre, plus it's got a superb finale by the always surprising To.
**** Tetuko C
August 4, 2008
you can feel the different style...that's great.
i loved the wide angles scenes etc...
good good good!!
July 16, 2008
this is a really good movie i like it=)
½ July 6, 2008
actually I am not quite understand its meaning, but the story is quite interesting
½ July 3, 2008
This one is just stupid
**** Private U
July 2, 2008
i think the styles of the trio blended pretty well & smoothly, yet u can still "smell" the different styles. Lam Ka Tung, Sun Hong Lei & Simon Yam acted very well, NOT Louis Koo... so typical him. Love the last bit of black humor at the end~ hahaha
**** Steve B
June 10, 2008
Wow! Great action flick & dark comedy. At the end, I wanted more! Good acting and very funny. The directors (Hark, Lam & To) did a terrific job.
**** Albert F
May 31, 2008
Entertaining and slightly weird.
May 20, 2008
The plot itself is not amusing, or stylistically clever in the first place But its thanks to the creative talents of the three directors, that help save this movie from total boredom.
**** Philip N
May 14, 2008
I read and hear blah blah blah about how messy this film was, given the 3 directors who handled specific 30 minute segments. Other than the 1st 1/3 of the film by Tsui Hark which proffered up too many plot lines, I thought Ringo Lam did a fairly good job of closing the useless ones up in his segment and then Johnnie To brought the sweet factor in with the shootout in the field - derivative, yes (re: The Mission, Exiled, Election), but still SWEET.
***½ May 7, 2008
Heist thriller propelled by a gimmick to draw in any HK film fan -- it consists of 3 thirty-minute segments directed by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To, but attempts a single seamless narrative. In addition to enjoying the process of trying to spot where one style ends and another begins, I dug its reversal of the usual heist flick story arc.
*** ½ May 6, 2008
For fans of Hong Kong cinema Triangle was truly an event in the making, three of the top directors coming together to attempt a "pass the torch" like film. For those who may not have known Triangle was made in three parts by each director, starting with Hark, each one of them took over production and created roughly 30-35 minutes of the film(as I said Hark first, followed by Lam, and concluding with To) Each one literally taking over from where the other left off. Unfortunately this approach would come with its share of drawbacks
The story begins with three down on their luck men being approached in a local bar by a strange man who gives them a peace of gold and a business card with a website on it. After very little research the men realize he was pointing them in the direction of buried treasure underneath a legislative building. With little debate the three men decide to take on the task of retreating this so called treasure. This is where the film first disappoints, there is a great build up to the actual heist, but to the viewers surprise its a simple walk in take it and leave scenario which leaves them with little resistance. However they do happen to have a cop on their trail, who also happens top be sleeping with Simon Yams characters wife. The first act could be enough to turn anyone off the film, there is far too much going on at one time, including at least two subplots. One of which would not only completely disappear as we enter the second act, but it would also cause one of the films big plot holes.
Once they get the treasure home we are now introduced(in no way but a drastic change in style)to a new director and a far better film. One which becomes far more bearable as the story starts to make better sense. It appears that there was indeed a treasure and a big one at that. At this point one of the subplots are more developed, and we have that pesky cop played by Lam Ka-tung on their tail and after the treasure himself, and from here we are taken for quite a ride in pure Ringo Lam flair. However it would be the third act when taken over by Johnnie To that like a flick of a switch we enter a truly brilliant film! Through events better left untold to avoid spoilers our three men find themselves stranded in the rural new territories and held up at a small waterside restaurant. The final 30 minutes are nothing short of spectacular and treats us to a fine cameo from long time Johnnie To regular Lam Suet.
Great credit must be given to Tsui Hark for getting this project on the go, its just a shame his portion is so much weaker then what would follow. You can't blame him entirely. It appears that he had an much different idea in mind for the film. This would explain the drastic change in some of the characters, especially Simon Yam who at first is shown as a dark character who may be plotting to murder his wife. However apparently by means of flat out dropping this assumption he is cleared of all suspicion. It also doesn't help that Johnnie To's segment is just so bloody good, and makes one wonder just how this film could have been if it were entirely a Johnnie To production. However through careful editing and polish, and fantastic acting performances all around, the final product is a decent and watchable affair. However it may take some patience to get past the first act with out giving up entirely, however final 30 minutes make it all worth while!