Triangle (Tie saam gok) 2007

Triangle

Critics Consensus

Semi-comic-action thriller Triangle teams three leading Hong Kong directors together with confusing results. For asian cinema aficionados only.

53%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 15

43%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,083

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Triangle Photos

Movie Info

Three friends search for a buried treasure.

Cast

Critic Reviews for Triangle (Tie saam gok)

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (7)

  • A convoluted crime caper with strong ethical underpinnings to support its many moods and styles.

    October 21, 2008
  • The film is made confusing not only by the twisting plot but by the varied styles of the three cult directors.

    August 29, 2008 | Rating: 2/5
  • Three of Hong Kong cinema's top names take turns to direct this batty heist-gone-wrong thriller, which proceeds from stylish-but-incomprehensible (Tsui Hark) through crunchy and violent (Ringo Lam) to just barking (Johnnie To).

    August 29, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The filmic equivalent of pass-the-parcel on Triangle, a convoluted crime caper about a mysterious gold coin and the luckless bozos on its trail.

    August 29, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • The results are messy, incoherent and ultimately three times as tedious.

    August 29, 2008 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Little of it however, is genuinely striking enough to suggest a welcome reception beyond the already converted.

    August 29, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Triangle (Tie saam gok)

  • Jun 25, 2010
    the last chapter was hilarious but overall this was quite a disappointment. especially considering the caliber of the 3 directors.
    steve c Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2008
    <i>Triangle</i> is such an appropriate title for this Hong Kong crime thriller. It isn't just because the story revolves around 3 friends, but more that this film is directed by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To.<p>Each of the aforementioned directors directs a 30 minute segment of this 90 minute picture. Tsui Hark begins it off by dishing out the characters, relationships, and story lines in an erratic manner. This isn't surprising. Sure, there is a bit of confusion here, but there is enough going on to hold one's interest.</p><p>Ringo Lam steps in for the middle portion and does a good job at settling things down and clearing things up. The story advances at a slower pace and it sets everything up for the finale.</p><p>The last 30 minutes, helmed by Johnnie To, is the best part of the film. He is able to wrap everything up by bringing all the major characters together and putting on one of his trademark shootouts, which is the biggest action sequence of the film.</p><p>All the actors are no strangers to this genre. Simon Yam, Louis Koo, and Honglei Sun carry this picture with help from Ka Tung Lam and the beautiful Kelly Lin.</p><p><i>Triangle</i> does have a shaky start, but the film gets better with each director change. Fans of Hong Kong crime thrillers will want to take a look at this one.</p>
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 15, 2008
    The concept is to die for. Three of Hong Kong's best directors (Hark Tsui, prime mover of the Hong Kong new wave; Ringo Lam, whose 1987's <i>City on Fire</i> practically initiated Quentin Tarantino's career, serving as an inspiration, if not out-and-out rip-off source material for <i>Reservoir Dogs</i>; and Johnnie To, one of the most consistent and most exciting genre directors around) agreed to make one feature film, but unlike the usual triptychs (like <i>Three... Extremes</i> (Chan-wook Park, Takashi Miike, and Fruit Chan) or <i>Eros</i> (Wong Kar-wai, Antonioni and Soderbergh) where the filmmakers would create short films merely connected by a thematic or some other flimsier thread, the trio would make one continuous narrative, laid down by Tsui, pumped up by Lam, and wrapped up by To. <a href="http://s172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/?action=view¤t=340x255.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/340x255.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> Aptly titled <i>Triangle</i>, the film starts off with three friends: blonde-haired mama's boy and taxi driver Fai (Louis Koo, recently seen in To's <i>Triad Election</i>), antiques dealer Mok (Sun Honglei), and nearly bankrupt husband Bo (Simon Yam) to an unfaithful psychotic wife Ling (Kelly Lin). The three, while discussing a possible heist on a local jewellery store that would instantly give them much-needed big bucks, is given a tip by a mysterious man of a treasure - a priceless Tang Dynasty artefact - hidden inside the city's Legislative Council building. The three head off to retrieve the treasure as the triad members they conned and the renegade cop (Lam Ka-tung), who is having an affair with Ling, hunt them down. Despite all the contrivances, the inconsistencies, and the confusion, everything works. The film isn't divided into portions but it's quite obvious who directs which part. The frenetically edited first third of the film, where the characters are introduced and the basic conceit of the narrative is put into the table (quite delirious in the amount of information that is let out of the Pandora's box), is obviously Tsui's doing (the same director who gave Jet Li his first major role in <i>Once Upon a Time in China</i>). The madness is then grounded by Lam, putting some teeth and psychology to Tsui's hard-lucked protagonists, while setting up connections that would lead to To's grand finale, where the director merges his knack for comedy and his exquisite eye for bullet ballets in a near-operatic shoot-out in a grass and scarecrow covered field. There's a consonant flow to the trio directors' predicated chaos. Each director is responsible for his segment in the film, with only the previous director's final output as guidance and cue for their part. Despite the freedom, the film didn't end up as a flagrant mess, which is not very surprising. Tsui, Lam and To, along with Hong Kong's other legendary directors (like John Woo, Wilson Yip, even Wong Kar-wai), have established the running themes, the prominent styles, and the basic narrative framework that define the former British colony's mainstream cinema. The three directors have decades of films and common experiences to make sure that <i>Triangle</i> falls within the borders of convention (and thus, render it commercially viable and extremely watchable). At most, it is To who takes the most risks, and comes out contributing the most to the narrative, without sacrificing his trademark quips. He basically uses every bit of conceit initiated by Tsui, incorporates the surfacing themes by Lam, and completes the picture with a surprising turn and a loud and flaunting bang, thus, turning <i>Triangle</i> into one memorable romp. You'd think that with the differing productions (separated by months, depending on the actors' schedules) and directing styles, <i>Triangle</i> would end up as a merely entertaining experiment without any real depth to chew on. Actually, the film pretty much rehashes the well-entrenched theme of honour and loyalty in HK cinema. In the midst of the clinging temptations of a multimillion-dollar treasure, three men with varying motivations (the final goal is the big bucks but: Fai is trapped in the middle of various obligations from his dissonant relationships with the cops, the gangsters, and his two partners in crime; Bo is struggling with his wife's love affair with a cop dealt upon by his insolvency while reminiscing his abruptly ended marriage with his first wife; Mok is contemplating between his financial crisis and his precious moral stance) manage to overcome the hindrances and the odds that differentiate them, and retain or salvage what they value the most. It also doesn't hurt that the oft-told parable, which the film really is, is overflowing with the three directors' distinct styles. <i>Triangle</i> leaves you throbbing and satisfied, hooked by the idiosyncratic small time would-be crooks Tsui introduces and weaves together, moved by the romantic dance inside an abandoned factory provided for by Lam's instinctive designs, and finally sweeped by hilariously extended switch-ups and the over-the-top moonlit gunplay To gambled around with. A lot of fun!
    Pedro P Super Reviewer
  • Apr 15, 2008
    I liked the idea, but the actual movie is rather unmemorable (perhaps I would have been able to write a fuller review if I had hustled and gotten this done earlier instead of waiting two months, gah). As well, it suffers from the classic problem that surfaces whenever three auteurs try to merge their styles: there is a definite lack of stylistic continuity here, and the storyline is also too jumbled to redeem the muddled visuals. It starts off promisingly - I always love a good heist movie - but it throws in too much oddness with the story of the cheating girlfriend/doublecross/looks like a dead ex thing, and the treasure story really becomes a mere sideshow, which is a pity. Still, it's not quite a thumbs-down from me because I enjoyed Simon Yam's barely contained character, who although he is not very well-developed, stands out as somewhat of an enigma, giving the movie a bit more of a complex edge.
    Krystle C Super Reviewer

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