On seeing a film, audiences will often come out at the end with an emotion attached – whether it be elation, satisfaction or disappointment, grief for misused potential, or amusement at how bad yet entertaining the experience was. Trigger Point does none of that. It’s not good enough for any high praise, nor bad enough to stir any debate. The overwhelming sensation after watching it is nothing.
Trigger Point is an action movie that accidentally plays with the perception of realism. While the events themselves aren’t so unrealistic, and the technical methods used in its creation reflect how such events would play out in real life, there are specific coincidences and isolated scenes that detract from the effect. The performances are either too unnatural (whether because of the acting or the direction), or events are too on-the-nose without a logical explanation behind them. While it’s not uncommon for a production to rely on the audience’s suspension of disbelief, Trigger Point abuses this to a certain extent with a lack of world building.
The narrative has enough action to keep it from slipping into stagnation, but not enough to salvage it. Sequences are bumpy or, at times, hit and miss, and can be quite slow. There is an effort to create tension with quick turnarounds and a heavy dependence on the loud sensory audio and eerie soundtrack to set the tone. This often clashes with the visual presentation of the scenes, from the composition of the shots to the vibrant lighting. There’s a distinct absence of background chatter, which isolates the conversations and adds an extra layer of dramatic unease, but this pushes the film further into the realms of convenience.
There are some positives: the saturated filter alongside specific camera movements creates aesthetically effective transitions between characters and locations. The vibrancy also contrasts well with the greyscale filter for the flashbacks. Barry Pepper is very good in his role – cool suave and authoritative, but maintaining a soft edge when the scenes demand it. His dynamic with Colin Feore is quite entertaining to watch in the first act, as is his sarcastic wit.
Trigger Point tries to be something sort of profound, but with all its other faults its efforts are wasted.
Trigger Point is released in select cinemas on 12th July 2021.
Watch the trailer for Trigger Point here: