Barry Pepper takes more head shots than a high school yearbook photographer. Trigger Point has the acclaimed character actor portraying an elite assassin who never misses. The film is a lean action thriller with several mysteries at its core. None of which are particularly interesting when the secret villain is laughably obvious in the first act. That said, Trigger Point‘s brisk pacing and sharp violence does have a somewhat cinematic flow. The ending will either leave audiences infuriated or thirsty for more cranium popping fun.
Trigger Point is set at first in a small upstate New York town. A man known to the local denizens as Lewis (Barry Pepper) lives a quiet life. His daily routine consists of chatting with the diner waitress (Nazneen Contractor) before stopping at the village bookstore for tea. He returns home to a secluded cabin that’s secretly a high tech fortress equipped with drone surveillance. He hides his car under a camouflaged net.
A dark past is revealed with the arrival of Elias Kane (Colm Feore). Lewis is the guise of Nicolas Shaw, “an agency operative” who’s been in hiding for over a year. Kane was his handler. Shaw’s entire team was systematically killed because of him. Now the shadowy mastermind who set him up has kidnapped Kane’s daughter, Monica (Eve Harlow). Shaw must step back into a deadly underworld of trained killers to rescue her and uncover the puppet master pulling every string.
Trigger Point gets the party started quickly. Bullets and beatdowns fly as Nicolas Shaw tries to remember how the current chain of events got started. The film breezily tosses out names and flashback scenes to build on the puzzle of the unknown baddie. It’s a muddled stab at exposition that makes little sense. Thankfully the action is entertaining. Shaw moves with stealth, lethal takedowns, and a brain-blasting silencer. He’s more Hitman than Rambo.
Barry Pepper is great at looking serious. It’s his defining trait as an actor. I’ve been watching his film and television career since the mid nineties. He can take poorly written dialogue and deliver it absolutely stone-faced. His character depictions are solemn and carry weight. Trigger Point relies heavily on this ability. A few situations in this film are absurd. Pepper makes those scenes work through pure stage presence. He pulls off the dour assassin.
I must admit to being disappointed in the ending. Barry Pepper’s ass-kicking gunplay kept me on board despite the narrative issues. At eighty-five minutes, it feels like the filmmakers could have added much more detail to the outcome. But conversely, there is something to be said about leaving you wanting more. Trigger Point‘s final act sets the stage for a bigger universe. I would be onboard for the further adventures of Nicolas Shaw. Trigger Point is a production of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, High Park Entertainment, and Landmark Studio Group. Screen Media Films will release Trigger Point theatrically on April 16th, followed by a global streaming debut on April 23rd.