I was looking forward to Three – a 2016 action film from director Johnnie To (Election, Election 2, Drug War). When I finally sat down to watch I waited and waited for the film to kick in and when it did…awfulness.
First the plot: Wallace Chung plays Shun – a criminal who has been shot in the head and brought to a hospital. Dr. Tong Qian (Zhao Wei) is ready to operate and get the bullet out of his head but Shun, who has all of his mentally capacities despite being shot in the head, refuses surgery. He is shuttled to the E.R. where Chief Inspector Ken (Louis Koo) and his gang of cops watches over Shun. It seems that Shun was shot accidentally in the head and Ken and his crew are going to do whatever it takes to try and keep that fact quiet. For Shun he’s trying to bide his time until he can figure out a way to contact his crew to come rescue him. Once Shun figures out how to make contact it is all downhill from there.
The problem is this film is very uneven. The first two acts are just the build-up to the third act. There’s not much plot here. We are nearly given the entire plot right away and then the audience has to sit and wait for the third act where “everything else happens.” But once we get there the slow-motion gun-fu with the fancy camera work just feels off-putting and boring. It suddenly becomes a movie it is not. It becomes a suspenseful drama turned into a fancy-shmancy John Woo ripoff film. All of the slow motion forced upon us is awful. It is AWFUL.
The film ends up being a slow burn that just goes nowhere.
This film ends up feeling like another season finale of Grey’s Anatomy or ER where everything goes wrong before next season. Like when a grieving gunman enters Seattle Grace Hospital and starts shooting patients and doctors alike. There was one particular scene where Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd was trying to reason with the gunman. Tried explaining things like his past, why he became a doctor, and why he wants to continue to live and help people. Then he gets shot in the chest. Man that was an effective season finale.
Three’s script? It feels like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that got REJECTED by producers. And then they were like…”Hey, let’s just make it into a film!”
Actually if Grey’s Anatomy is running out of ideas since they are season 13 they might as well just adapt Three into a season ender. After ferry crashes and bus accidents and airplanes crashing this sort of storyline may be right up their alley.
The special features are minimal. The disc includes the trailer for Three which is much more effective than the movie itself. If the movie was just the trailer I might have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more. There’s two short featurettes – one about the three main characters and the other about Johnnie To’s directing. They might be decent featurettes but watching them right after watching this film was probably a mistake because since I disliked the movie so much I really didn’t care what anyone had to say about the film.
In the end if you are a Johnnie To fan you may get some sort of enjoyment out of the film. For me I’d rather go on Netflix and just watch old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Trust me – they did these sort of storylines much better than Three was able to accomplish.
SPECIAL FEATURES: C