When a Hong Kong action flick comes into your grasp, what else can you expect but fast, awesome martial arts? Triad Election shattered that stereotype, making me feel like the asshole who speaks slowly and loudly to anyone who looks foreign, only to be answered with "I speak English, dumbass."
A modern Chinese mafia flick, Triad Election follows Jimmy, a higher-up in the Wo Sing gang in Hong Kong. When the current chairman's (read: godfather's) two-year term comes to an end, Jimmy is unwillingly nominated to take the seat — and he faces deadly competition. He's pushed to prove his ruthlessness, and as a result becomes uncharacteristically violent in a scene that involves his enemy's henchmen, hungry German shepherds and a sausage grinder. Fucking intense. But there's not a drop of kung fu: Triad Election channels Michael Corleone more than Bruce Lee.
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With an ironically tragic ending, Jimmy is left with everything he never wanted, and viewers are left shaking their heads and wondering how it all came together so flawlessly. Triad Election unspools at Starz FilmCenter in the Tivoli starting Friday, July 27; for tickets and showtimes, visit www.denverfilm.org.