Fantasia Film Review: Three (Saam Yan Hang)

(Source: Well Go USA)

(Source: Well Go USA)

I didn’t know what to expect from Three. I almost dread hearing a conversation prior to the film. No spoilers were given, but someone thought it was good on the first screening and they were back to see it again. That’s high praise.

It was warranted. Director Johnny To brings together a criminal with a bullet on his head, a police inspector willing to break the law to enforce it and a surgeon who’s trying to prove herself better after a recent rash of surgeries gone bad. It will be the criminal who’s moving the wires as he seems to have a large group of associates willing and able to mess things up both outside and inside the hospital. For us, the movie takes place completely inside the hospital.

Wallace Chung plays the mobster who’s brought in after being shot. Zhao Wei is the doctor who wants him immediately in surgery, despite having to deal with the shadow of two failed surgeries that plague her conscience: one may never walk and the other is catatonic. Louis Koo plays the police inspector who desperately wants to find the thug’s accomplices and close the case, even willing to plan the evidence to do it. The hospital ward not only houses the criminal, but an array of quirky patients that won’t state put making life difficult for our resident doctor and police members. Everyone else could be a cop or a criminal associate. This keg’s about to blow.

The devil is in the details, and oh boy there’s a few. The old man likes to steal keys. The patient that can’t walk is suicidal and spews hate at the doctor. The criminal’s lawyer is here to see his client, but first he’s roaming around. Someone is whistling a tune that the criminal was whistling a while ago. Everything is something and that person that just walked by is in on it. Every proceeding on screen keeps you entertained and watching.

Director Johnny To is at the top of his game, a game we’re just watching unfold. When the action finally explodes, you almost wanted it to take long and relish the build up. When the action starts to unfold, there’s a slow motion scene that will feel like a cliche for some. I found it renewed my faith in slow motion scenes. The ending is ok, no twists. I wanted to see either more of an epilogue or have a cliffhanger which the movie could have easily pulled off. I guess this was the best compromise.

Highs: The preparation. Each little thing seems like it could lead somewhere. The movie never hits a lull. It’s entertaining throughout, specially if you like anticipation.

Lows: The ending is a good compromise, but you almost want it to stop at a cliffhanger instead.

Highly recommended, as long as you’re willing to enjoy the ride up until the big finish. Some people will expect more action, some will expect less. I found it was just the right amount.

Coming up:

That will do for now.

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