The Third Society (2003) – By Duane L. Martin

I was first contacted by JA Steel quite a while back and asked if I’d like to receive a copy of her film The Third Society to review. At the time, we didn’t have Rogue Cinema and since I only reviewed classic films on my personal review site I had to turn her down. Fortunately however, she was persistent and contacted me again not too long ago and asked again if I’d like to review The Third Society, and this time I was able to say yes.

I didn’t know what to expect from the movie. I know several other people who’ve received copies of it to review, but I never like reading reviews of a movie before I review it myself simply because I don’t want other people’s reviews to taint my expectations of a movie one way ot the other. So I get the DVD in the mail, and to my surprise, she not only sent me the DVD, but the soundtrack as well. So that was nice.

So I popped the DVD in, and what I saw was totally not what I expected…

Basically…well hell I don’t even know how to describe it. I could talk about all the continuity errors, pointless scenes and totally goofy plot elements, and I will, but first I want to say one thing. What I want to say is…I actually enjoyed this movie. So when I talk about the things in it that didn’t work or that seem a bit inept, I don’t want you to read it with a negative mindset, because these are the very things that actually made me enjoy the film. Now with that said, let’s move on…

The Third Society is the story of a woman and her sister who’s mother was killed right in front of her as a child in Southeast Asia. Believe me, we know the mother gets killed, because we see it happen over and over again in slow motion about eight times throughout the movie in various flashbacks. It’s funny too because…well I’ll get to that in a bit. Anyway, so the girl and her sister are put into the witness protection program and are now both living in L.A. where they still have the same first names, but their last names have been changed from Reynolds to Jones.

So Jones is now an L.A. cop, and boy has she been through it. She speaks five languages and has been through special ops training and all kinds of nifty stuff. Because of her classified and sealed background, she gets away with pretty much killing every bad guy she comes acoss and never gets busted for it. Her captain is this pissy black woman who looks like a cross between Nell Carter and Rerun from Good Times. She narrates the story and doesn’t spend her time doing much of anything except bitching at Jones for killing people all over the place and then leaving her to do the paperwork, which in and of itself is really funny.

Basically what’s going on is that Jones single-handedly made a billion (yes that’s billion with a “B”) dollar heroin bust. Unfortunately, the drugs belonged to the same guy who killed her mother and who’s been looking for her for twenty some odd years. Well her sister, who’s now a securities banker, took the billion dollars in securities and transferred it to a federal holding account. So the Asian bad guy, who’s called Dragon of course, sends his thugs and his son to kidnap Jones’ sister so they can not only get the billion dollars back, but so they can trap Jones and kill her as well.

Oh, and did I mention the FBI sidekick? His name is Michael Lee, and he’s had martial arts training and weapons training and all his talent has been stuck behind a desk for ages even though he’s put in three separate requests for field work. Well Jones requested him as a partner of sorts because of his training and because he supposedly grew up in Southeast Asia like she did. Well together they go after the bad guys, and in the end…well you’re not really sure if she comes out alive or not. I’ll bet the bad guy’s foot is hurtin’ though. Don’t worry, I’ll explain that too in a minute.

This film had so many things in it that were just stupid, but I don’t mean stupid in a bad way. They were stupid funny as opposed to just regular stupid. I’m just going to make a list rather than to talk about every little thing.

1. Jones has a habit of emptying her clip and then continuing to point her empty gun with the slider locked open at the bad guys.

2. Jones makes a billion dollar drug bust, apparently by herself. First of all, a BILLION dollars woth of heroin would have to come in on a tanker sized ship, and second, no one makes billion dollar drug deals. The most you ever hear about anyone getting busted for only runs into the millions.

3. No way, no how would anyone who has a billion dollars be making drug deals like that. They’d be out hittin’ the scene and spendin’ the green rather than risking their freedom.

4. We see Jones’ mother getting killed over and over again throughout the movie. This scene is the only scene in the movie where squibs were used. Apparently they had two squibs and they wasted both of them in that scene. Throughout the rest of the movie, anytime anyone is shot, they just make this big exaggerated goofy movement like they’ve just been shot and fall to the ground. It’s really funny watching them do that.

5. There’s little continuity errors all over the place as well as some scenes edited out of sequence, pointless scenes and too many long scenes of her training including one that looks more like a bizarre performance art piece than anything else.

6. In a 24 hour period, she takes two showers. Her sister is in the hands of Asian drug dealers, and she keeps taking showers. Then again, I guess if you’re possibly gonna get shot and killed, the last thing you want is to have stanky pitts and a stanky butt when the coroner scrapes you up off the deck.

7. Asian drug dealers apparently can’t aim worth a squat. She was hittin’ them ok, but they were shootin’ all over the place and never hit her. Oh, I guess that’s because she can dodge bullets. See, she did the Remo Williams bullet dodging thing in one scene, and then beat the snot out of the guy. Well, actually she did after she got up. See, she got close and he cracked her in the head with his gun and then while she was rolling around in pain he kicked her in the ribs a few times. So I guess she can dodge bullets, but not feet.

8. In the final sequence, Jones and Dragon are facing each other down on the dock, having a showdown where they’re just staring at each other with their guns pointed at each other. Now here’s the part I mentioned earlier. When they show her, she’s got her gun at shoulder height but the barrel is pointed down at the guy’s feet. So if she’d have pulled the trigger right then, she’d have hit him in the foot. Actually, they shot each other at the exact same time and then they left it at the end of the movie with the captain narrating and asking if Jones was really dead.

There’s a lot more but you get the idea. Basically, in most movies, all of these things would add up to one great big turd, but not this one. All the goofy stuff in this movie actually made it fun to watch, and I don’t know what other reviewers thought of it, but I had a good time watching this film. Even if other reviewers have slammed it, I think you should keep and open mind and give it a shot. It has a very 80’s kinda Miami Vice feel to it and if you go into it expecting to have a good time, you probably will.

The DVD has some extras including a behind the scenes featurette and music videos. This film is different than many other independent films because it does have it’s own CD soundtrack as well. The music in this film was quite well done and was in fact appropriate for most of the scenes it was used in. There was one piece of music, used several times throughout the movie, that was used during a seires of shots where she was training and it didn’t really work all that well for that, but for the most part the music was well done and well utilized.

If you like cheesy action and goofy plots with an 80’s feel, then you should definitely give this movie a shot. I had fun watching it, and I think you will too.

If you’d like to find out more about the movie, you can visit the Warrior Entertainment website at http://www.warriorentertainment.com/. If you’d like to order the DVD, it can be purchased through amazon.com.