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"When a Dolph Lundgren DVD review starts with the words "not a bad movie", you know you must RUSH and buy it, for it's as good as it's gonna get! The fact that I am still a fan of the actor is testament to his vast on-screen charisma rather then his ability (luck?) to pick winning projects.
Well, this is not a bad movie...Waxman is a battle-hardened sniper, working for a non-descript agency, when his moral consciousness comes a knocking, inconveniently, in the middle of an assignement, while he is being assisted by a rookie spotter (the lovely Gina Bellman; check her out in "Couplings"). We hope he's been told to kill whoever hired the girl, for she has no clue (though looks good in tight clothing). Things go from bad to worse and the couple end up running for their lives thru a war torn country. We see them again re-united a few years later, on another assignement (Waxman's moral conciousness must have taken another break during that time). The job takes them to the top floor of an eery apartment building, still under construction. All is not what it seems though. Neither one trusts the other. The girl makes it clear she is ready to "retire" Waxman, should he fail to complete his job this time. And so, obviously,... they have sex (well, research does seem to support the notion that people who have sex during work time are happier in their employment; so, who are we to judge?). High action events take place that derail both characters and lead to a climax that is unexpected to the viewer. Not bad...Really...
All the scenes for the second assignement are shot in the beautifully eery Algonquin Hotel in Montreal, Canada. The location heightens the feeling of isolation the two heroes experience; it sets the mood and works well to support the script, the story, and the character development. However, it is the manner in which the first assignement is shot that makes me knock down two stars off the rating. Naive set set-up, undisciplined and unenthused extras are just a couple of the issues. Unfortunately, we see these poorly produced scenes thruthout the entire movie, in form of flashbacks. With the $10-$15 mil budget these scenes have no right to be there...plain and simple. By contrast, Lundgren's "Retrograde" was shot for less then $2 mil, but with a more believable result! The end product is uneven, frustrating the viewer with its unrealized potential.
Still, there is enough good action and decent acting on part of Lundgren and Bellman, to make this one of my favourite Dolph movies. When I fast forward thru all the flashbacks, I can almost get the feeling of watching a major motion picture. Not a small feat for a Dolph movie to achieve..."
Best Dolph movie
Walter Baeck | Belgium, W-Europe | 07/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I started to look out for Dolph Lundgren films after I saw this one. But it is my feeling that none other is better than Silent Trigger. Very stylish, very moody, overacted in a grand way."
The Dude | 10/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Silent Trigger is very professionally done, written, performed, and the cast is PERFECT. HIGHLY recommended for any Dolph Lundgren fans."
Lundgren's Silent Success
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 03/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Silent Trigger" is a bit of an odd action vehicle for both Dolph Lundgren and director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander): the cast primarily consists of only four players - two protagonists, an antagonist, and a consistent bystander - three of whom remain unnamed throughout the movie, the majority of which takes place with the four characters alone in an empty high-rise building. If it weren't for the action scenes, this might very well have been a stage drama; but even though this is the artsy-est storytelling you're probably ever going to see in a Lundgren film, it remains one of his best and a fan necessity.
The plot follows a mysterious Special Forces sniper (Lundgren) and his rookie female spotter (Gina Bellman, Coupling - The Complete Seasons 1-4) - political assassins forced to go rogue when an overseas mission is compromised and reunited for one last job in a derelict skyscraper. Amidst reliving their initial failed encounter via a series of flashbacks, the pair must contend with the maniacal motives of an insane security guard (Christopher Heyerdahl, "Stargate: Atlantis") looking to get the better of them in a drug-induced rage...though this doesn't seem to bother his fellow guard (Conrad Dunn, Nero Wolfe - The Complete Classic Whodunit Series) at all for some reason...
Since this is a character-driven piece, acting ability is a must for the performers, and I'm glad to say that for the most part, they come through: Lundgren won't win any awards but he achieves the required balance between secrecy and sincerity needed to make his character likeable, Heyerdahl does well as a chauvinistic man slowly descending into madness, and Dunn remains a rightful enigma until the climax - you know that this guy's not at all what he seems, but his character-related twist at the end is well-received. Bellman has some weak spots that express themselves as unfounded overconfidence, but she eventually ends up acceptable when it counts. Even Lundgren's bolt-action sniper rifle has a certain thematic character to it...
The action is sparser than I tend to like it, but in this case, it doesn't hurt the movie. There are approximately three shootouts (all of which include the sniper rifle), one hand-to-hand confrontation between Lundgren and Heyerdahl, and one combination shoot-and-punch in which Lundgren takes on a roomful of special ops soldiers. While the sniping action is good, it's not quite as furious as I had been hoping for, and the hand-to-hand stuff is purely beat-`em-up material - no technical martial arts encounters. Surprisingly, what's there is done with such flair and built up so well that it's satisfying nonetheless; every shot counts, every roundhouse kick has a purpose, and this keeps the action fresh, even though there's not an overload of it.
"Silent Trigger" is a TV production made on the relatively meager budget of $15 million, so expect just a couple of insufficiencies when it comes to CGI. The extended storyline bugs me a bit: the nature of the entity that Lundgren and Bellman work for is never explained - all we know is that it does not tolerate failure to the point of instructing spotters to terminate their snipers should they not deliver, but saw fit to take them both back for one more mission even though I was sure that Lundgren's character had gone into hiding. That, including the unsolved significance of the high-rise building, was no doubt included to heighten the sense of mystery, but leads to a bit too much head-scratching as far as I'm concerned.
Rest assured, no flaw is not enough to drag the movie down, and they even even ends up contributing to the film's slightly far-out flavor. Lundgren fans may be a bit surprised at the road their hero went down in this feature, but it's nonetheless worth having on your shelf, even for non- Lundgren-exclusive action fans."