Election 2 (Triad Election) (To, 2006)

Picking up two years after Election left off, Triad Election both expands on it’s predecessor’s brilliant visual scheme but also compliments it with a nuanced and fortified sense of story. Instead of a striaght-up remake (like most American sequels), To uses the first film as a base, a mythology of sorts. In doing this, To utilizes a sense of deja vu with his characters, showing the consequences of a power struggle slipping from one generation to the next. Loc, now finishing his term as chairman of the Triads, begins to realize his need for a continuation of power. In an attempt to subvert tradition and run for a second term, Loc’s actions set off a series of events which will wreak a devastating blow to the all ready crumbling election process, starting an all out war with his chief competition. No one is left unscathed and unlike the first film, To makes the violent results stick. In these terms, Triad Election represents a maturing for To as a storyteller, relying on character and pacing instead of flashy camera moves and tone. With Triad Election, To’s themes of deception, greed, and desperation reveal themselves with clarity in the context of the story, a vast difference from the overly self-conscious style of the first film. To, above all things, loves manipulation, whether it be bending the rules of genre or using characterizations as windows into the complexities and consequences of modern day politics, gangster or otherwise. His Triad Election is a grand feat, a sweeping continuation of a fascinating modern tragedy just beginning to take shape.

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