Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
A teen and his friend look to gain status within their local Triad, while the boss and his second deal with deeper issues, culminating in the crossing of the two paths by the end of the film.
Is it good movie?
Yik and Turbo are young upstarts, looking to gain status in their local Triad by drawing the ďdeath lotĒ at a local gang club, meaning they would get a hit job. Yik selects the correct whore, Yoyo, with the green apple tattoo, and ends up in the unenviable position of actually having to kill the mob boss. Not quite what he had in mind. For most of the film Yik tries to express some sort of feeling with Yoyo, while also cruising town with Turbo, trying to buy a gun and generally getting into law-breaking mischief until itís time to do the deed.
Meanwhile, Triad boss Mr. Hung is having his own trouble. His wife just gave birth, prompting his second in command, Mr. Lefty, to try to muscle him out of power and out of the country. And it also seems his three other underbosses are the ones conspiring to knock him off. So he has to find the common ground he used to have with Lefty while properly disciplining his soldiers. Just when he has his business about settled, the assassination attempt occurs, and his and Leftyís paths cross with Yik and Turbo, but in a very unexpected way.
Triad Underworld is, alas, a rather pedestrian effort. Itís not bad, but itís not good either. The photography is kind of soft, and the actors kind of hammy. It is also the absolute most emo Triad film you will ever see. The incredibly terrible subtitles donít help matters, either. Still, the nice twist at the end does redeem it slightly, and I was left with a middling feeling about the whole affair, instead of outright disliking it. So thatís something.
FYI: Triad is apparently to Chinese organized crime what Yakuza is to Japanese. I was previously unaware of this. Bad movie critic!
Video / Audio
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen. The cinematography is a little soft, but if you watch the trailer youíll see that Palisades Tartan did a good job of cleaning up the original print (from 2004).
Audio: There are three Chinese language tracks: 2.0 Dolby, 5.1 Dolby, and 5.1 DTS Surround, as well as optional English subtitles.
Making Of: This is not really a making of piece, but more a collection of interviews. Itís hard to tell if it is interesting or informative, because the subtitles were written by a blind, retarded monkey who speaks neither Chinese nor English.
Music Video: This is the movieís theme song over a collection of raw footage and behind the scenes shot, qualifying it as more of a making of piece than the making of piece.
Trailer: Just what it says.
Thereís really not much to see here. Thereís a cool twist at the end, but it is preceded by 70-minutes of mostly boring exposition and music video-style camera work and editing. Thereís not enough sex and violence to sustain much interest, and the subtitles are very poorly done. Not terrible, but I can't give a strong recommendation either.