Silent Trigger (1996)
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Critic Reviews for Silent Trigger
Audience Reviews for Silent Trigger
Judging by this films poster you'd half expect this to be some kind of future set science fiction action fest. Dolph is looking very serious holding a massive hand cannon with a string of massive bullets attached to the side...it couldn't be more badass if you tried! In the background stands the skyscraper where the action is set, again to me this looks highly futuristic and reminds me of the main OCP headquarters building in 'Robocop'. Like most older action flicks the poster is somewhat misleading although not totally. The story does indeed unravel within this huge oddly shaped skyscraper yet its filled with flashbacks to an earlier time. Dolph plays a sniper hitman who is hired by a mysterious agency to assassinate a specific target. His spotter is a sexy female (of course) who just happens to be the same spotter that accompanied him on a previous mission many years before. Together the duo must overcome bad memories and work together to finish the job, unfortunately they also have to content with an unruly drug addicted security guard who gets in the way...kinda. This really is an odd movie, first off the director (Mulcahy of 'Highlander' fame) has clearly tried to mould this into some kind of hi-tech noir thriller. The visuals and lighting within the skyscraper sets are soaked in darkness and very moody, the colour palette mainly consists of dark blue, metallic greys/gunmetal and hints of yellow. This is enforced with the seriously tech-noir style of the interior sets which look really very nice but don't fit this movie premise. In fact the sets looks way too good for such a schlocky action B-movie. The exterior of the skyscraper is very slick and as I've already said very futuristic looking. I did like the strange building design, its very eerie and foreboding with that huge single oval window, especially when set against the night sky. I'm guessing this was a model bluescreened against a real American city skyline, truthfully it does look very well composited and quite realistic. The various skeletal structural sets of the building (both interior and exterior) again I'm guessing were a combination of real worksites and fabricated ones, all in all I was very impressed...didn't expect such glossy sets in this movie. So on one hand you have this very sexy, shiny almost Orwellian cyberpunk looking building that looms over everything where the main duo are holed up waiting for their kill. On the other hand we get flashbacks to their previous mission which appears to be set in some rustic old eastern European town (as always). These flashbacks are a very different style to the films present day, they have a gritty apocalyptic vibe to them that kinda borders on WW1 in places. We are shown how the mission goes wrong and why Dolph doesn't take the shot which of course cues the arrival of faceless bad guys to terminate them. This failed mission does make me wonder why Dolph is still hired by whoever to carry out his present mission. Why does he not still have bounty on his head? or does he? We don't find out who the mysterious agency is that hire him for his current mission and we don't find out who the mysterious agency was that hired him for the failed mission. So we are left in the dark really. Its also kinda mega convenient that the same sexy female spotter is his partner again, makes you wonder that they are both being set up for their previous failure. Well I did until Dolph once again fails to take the shot so a backup team do it for him, so it appears that Dolph puts himself and his spotter back in the shit again. I'm genuinely still not sure if Dolph and co were set up for their previous error or he just froze again and they were attacked for not carrying out their kill, the story isn't that clear. The other odd thing about this movie is the sub-plot involving the deranged security guard based in the skyscraper. This guy starts off perfectly normal but seems to descend into madness after meeting the sexy female spotter when she arrives (posing as some kind of IT technician). There is literately no reason why this dude goes nuts...he just does, the plot required him to do so for thrilling reasons. Just to make sure this character is made out to be a druggie as we see him sniffing it...but that's well after he initially goes all weird. He initially tries to rape the female spotter, fails and goes crazy because...reasons. I still don't get why he actually tries to rape her, does working the night shift in security do this to you? So next to this dark emotional assassination plot there is this oddball sub-plot about a lunatic security guard that Dolph ends up having big fisticuffs with...it literately feels like they just crowbarred it in for a solid fight sequence. The other bizarre thing is showing us Dolph placing small explosive devices in strategic places in the building, mainly the lift. Why would he do that?? he has no reason to think anything will happen in the building, especially the lift. It really does seem to be a very lazy easy way for the main bad guy (plot twist) to get killed off. He just happens to use the lift that Dolph has booby trapped, did Dolph know a top level bad guy would show up and use that lift to escape? apparently he did. Not sure if Dolph was the right person for this role but he does look awesome wielding his ginormous sniper rifle...kinda get the impression that's the only reason he was hired for the role. Gina Bellman is the sultry spotter and she is just that...alluring, seductive, sensual and smokin'. Again I couldn't help but think she doesn't quite click with Dolph, they didn't look right together. A film of two halves is an understatement here, its pretty much two different movies and the half set in the skyscraper is by far the more intriguing. Definitely one of Lundgren's better action flicks seeing as most fall straight into the abyss of oblivion but like I said I think he was miscast here. Lots of sniper porn for gun freaks and an interesting score too I might add.
I think this film tried to be deeper than it turned out to be. It was great for some action. It tried to have a lot of suspense, but it didn't execute it as well as it could have.
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