THE NEW GENERATION: The violence burrows under your skin.
Sometimes you have to see a lesser movie to enjoy a better one. That’s the case with Johnnie To’s Hong Kong gangster diptych Election
(2005) and Triad Election
(2006), which are debuting in tandem at the Brattle. The first’s plodding drama gives context to the more kinetic, intricate, intriguingly political sequel.
In Triad Election, we nestle into the cold, cold bosom of the new generation. Election is the slow set-up, but Triad is the payoff, building and sustaining tension more adroitly than its predecessor. Director To doesn’t sacrifice substance to style. The over-the-top violent flourishes, more psychological than paint-the-screen-red literal, will burrow under your skin.