You’ve seen this before. The normal small-town man with a hilariously comprehensive home security system (which he uses to save stray cats) and excellent hacker skills (which he uses to help kids advance in video games), whose quiet life is disrupted when his history as an elite assassin catches up to him. It’s a classic setup and one that has worked to great effect many times. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.
Barry Pepper stars as Nicolas Shaw, our former agent for this story. A year before the story starts, his entire team was assassinated after he was tortured, and he fears he might be the one who gave them up. After a year in hiding, his old friend and boss Elias (Colm Feore) tracks Nicolas down and enlists his help to find out who killed the team and find his kidnapped daughter (Eve Harlow). It’s that kind of movie, where everyone needs to be directly connected (except, of course, the one other agent we meet, played by Carlo Rota). It’s a little silly, or it would be if it didn’t take itself so seriously.
There are things to like in this movie, like Barry Pepper and Colm Feore; however, they’re both much better than the screenplay they are working with. The film is only 80 minutes long, and much of it is people sitting or standing around and telling each other things that have happened or are happening. Hell, the first action scene doesn’t happen until nearly halfway into the movie. Writer Michael Vickerman’s script goes for the easy way out in nearly every scene, and the film never quite overcomes it. I mean, there isn’t even any reason for this movie to be called Trigger Point.
The shootout scenes are pretty good, and Pepper does a pretty good version of “guy who can walk through a compound and headshot every other person there”, but there are only a couple of them. In some ways, they feel like something out of a network television series, which makes sense as director Brad Turner’s filmography is full of credits on shows like 24 and Hawaii Five-0. The film has some lovely visuals, too, owing to the rural Ontario shooting location.
Trigger Point is disappointing not so much because it’s bad, but because it’s actually pretty close to being good. A few more drafts of the screenplay, a little more thought put into the characters, and a lot less setup for a sequel which will almost certainly never happen, and there could have been something here.
Trigger Point is available now on demand.