Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 12th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong / China, 2016
Director: Johnnie To
Writers: Ho Leung Lau, Tin Shu Mak, Nai-Hoi Yau
Cast: Louis Koo, Wei Zhao, Wallace Chung, Siu-Fai Cheung, Suet Lam, Hoi-Pang Lo, Michael Tse, Adrian Wong, Kathy Wu
BluRay released: April 4th, 2017
Approximate running times: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital Stereo Cantonese
Subtitles: English, Chinese
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
The film features a well-executed premise. Three characters who come from different backgrounds and how due to series of events that their lives intersect. These three characters are Chief inspector Ken, Doctor Tong Qian and a criminal named Shun. The narrative’s main conflict is derived from Shun’s refusal to get an operation until he can call a friend and consult with them about what he should do. Chief Inspector Ken knows that allowing such a phone call will put lives in danger. And Doctor Tong Qian’s confliction to follow the Hippocratic oath provides the means for Shun to put his diabolical play into motion.
Though this film ends with a bombastic action set piece at this film’s central location, a hospital. This film is more a suspense film with heavy doses of melodrama. The film’s narrative is meticulously laid out and pacing is never an issue as key moment are given an ample amount of time to sink in. When it comes to building, and maintaining tension, this film delivers in spades.
Visually this film does a great job reinforcing the maintaining tension. With standout moments, visually being, a cat and mouse scene where one of the detective’s follow’s a man who is whistling the same tune that Shun whistles throughout the film. Another standout moment is the film’s main action set piece, a shootout between cops and criminals that unfolds in slow motion.
The three main characters motivations are well defined and the performances from the entire cast are all very good. With this film’s standout performance being Wallace Chung in the role of Shun. He delivers a pitch perfect performance which requires his character to spend the majority of his screen time in a hospital bed.
Three comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer does a great job retaining the intended look of the film. There are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Cantonese and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Cantonese. These audio mixes sound, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 10 seconds, in Chinese with English subtitles) and two featurettes’ – Master Director Johnny To (2 minutes 29 seconds, in Chinese with English subtitles) and Three Complex Characters (3 minutes 12 seconds, in Chinese with English subtitles).
The featurettes contain onset footage and comments from director Johnny To, actress Wei Zhao and actors Louis Koo, Wallace Chung. Topics discussed include, working with Johnny To, the characters’ and the plot.
Other extras include trailers for other titles available or soon to be released by Well Go USA.
Overall Three gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.