Triple Tap is apparently a spin-off of the 2000 film, Double Tap, which I haven’t seen, but apparently this film is completely independent of its predecessor, so one doesn’t need to see Double Tap in order to see this one.
The film starts out with a shooting competition in Hong Kong, where guns are strictly controlled and must be checked out from a gun club to be used. The competition starts out with a police inspector named Chong Tze-wai (Daniel Wu) taking his turn, and he is absolutely phenomenal, even "double tapping" the final target, which means putting two bullets into it leaving connected bullet holes. Next up is an investment banker named Ken Kwan (Louis Koo). He blows through the course with equal adroitness, only at the end of his run, he manages to triple tap the final target and breaks the competition record, thereby winning it all and leaving Chong in second place. Once he leaves the competition however, Kwan comes across an armored car robbery, and when he sees it getting out of hand and the robbers shooting the guards, he grabs the gun from the back of his car and takes out all of the criminals except for one that got away. Unfortunately, a traffic cop came up right before he took down the criminals, and got himself shot. Now Kwan is hailed as a hero by the traffic division for saving the officer’s life, yet Chong holds him in jail and charges him with unauthorized use of a firearm and murder, because his superiors determined that the issues at play regarding gun control, self defense, etc…, were too hot to handle and should be decided by the court. Kwan has become a hero to the traffic division, and the law abiding citizens, and as such is eventually found not guilty, but is he really the hero everyone believes him to be? And what about the robber that got away? Things aren’t adding up, and inspector Chong intends to find out the real story.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this film, but I initially expected it to be an action film. While it is an action film to a point, mostly it’s a very well thought out crime drama that will leave you guessing until the real details of the crime and the motivations start getting exposed, and inspector Chong starts figuring it all out. I actually really liked this aspect of the film, because rather than getting lost in a constant flurry of action, the characters were actually allowed to develop and have some depth to them, and the mystery of the story was able to be exposed slowly, bit by bit, rather than just beating you in the face with some over the top crime that exposed everything from the beginning. It also shows us how lucky we are to live in a society where we can use firearms to stop people from being murdered without fear of being thrown in jail for murder and gun crimes ourselves.
The performances in this film, especially from the two main characters, are simply outstanding. Daniel Wu is very likeable in his role as the police inspector, and Louis Koo shows amazing depth as the investment banker who got in over his head, displaying everything from deep emotions to rage to nervous hand twitches. There was a duality to his character as well. Part of him wasn’t a bad guy at all, while another part of him had become so desperate that he was capable of anything, even things that he personally found repugnant and wouldn’t even think of doing otherwise.
The way the story plays out here, the depth and emotional range of the characters, and the social commentary on Hong Kong’s gun laws and morality in general, all add up to make this a really engrossing film that will start you out guessing, and keep you interested until the very end.
Triple Tap is now available on DVD, or in a blu-ray + DVD combo pack from Well Go USA and includes interviews, deleted scenes and trailers as bonus features.