AKA: Double Tap King
Year of release: 2010
Genre: cop thriller
Director: Derek Yee
Action directors: Chin Kar-Lok, Wong Wai-Fai
Producers: Henry Fong Ping, Mandy Law
Writers: Derek Yee, Chun Tin-Nam, Lau Ho-Leung
Cinematography: Fletcher Poon, Chan Kwok-Hung, Jimmy Wong
Editor: Kwong Chi-Leung
Music: Peter Kam
Stars: Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Charlene Choi, Li Bing-Bing, Chapman To, Lam Suet, Alex Fong, Andrew Lin, Michael Wong
Rated IIB for violence
Movie Review Index
A loose sequel to 2000's Double Tap, Derek Yee's action/drama Triple Tap starts out with a whole lot of promise and a cracking shootout, but ends up taking a nosedive during the plodding second act from which it never recovers, resulting in one of the bigger cinematic disappointments to come out of Hong Kong in 2010.
Rewinding back a bit to that aforementioned shootout, it's the result of an armored truck heist gone awry, with an investment banker and champion shooter, Ken (Louis Koo), killing three of the four robbers. In the first of Triple Tap's many convenient coincidences, the cop investigating the robbery, Jerry (Daniel Wu) is another competitive shooter that recently was defeated by Ken in a competition. Using the media, Ken is able to clear himself of any charges, but Jerry doesn't buy that he's innocent and keeps the heat on.
This is a perfectly fine setup that should result in a taut action/drama, but Derek Yee (who also co-wrote the screenplay) throws far too many elements into the mix, resulting a picture that loses its' focus early on and never quite gets it back. At almost two hours (an eternity in the world of Hong Kong movies) it feels like there's a good amount that should have been left on the cutting room floor, most notably the useless and obvious posturing about bankers being this generation's loan sharks, and a totally unnecessary love triangle between Louis, Charlene Choi, and Li Bing-Bing.
By the time Derek Yee movies his aim back towards the core story during the finale, things do improve somewhat, but one still gets the sense that he was scrambling for a way to finish the movie. Whether it's the pseudo-psychic detective work performed by Jerry's mentor, Mew (Alex Fong, reprising his role from Double Tap) or cheesy imagery inspired from first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty, the viewer is almost bound to be left feeling unsatisfied. Yee's most glaring misstep is a re-editing of the opening shootout that comes across as a blatant cinematic cheat that is, for someone who is normally one of the better directors currently working in Hong Kong, a surprisingly amateurish way of creating a twist where didn't even need to be one in the first place.