The Trigger Effect
This intriguing thriller, even though it weakens a bit at the end, still packs a
chilling punch. The Trigger Effect opens with an extended tracking shot reminiscent of Touch of Evil
or The Player, introducing several of the main characters, as well as the generally
irritable and unstable nature of L.A. society. Matthew (Kyle MacLachlan) and Annie (Elisabeth Shue)
are the primary characters, a married couple with a sick infant. When power
and communications are lost in Southern California for no apparent reason, society
begins to collapse. When the couple hears reports of looting, Matthew,
with family friend Joe (Dermot Mulroney) decides to purchase a gun. That decision
comes in handy when a stranger breaks into their house. Society continues
to disintegrate to the point that the threesome decide to make a run for
the country. Yet can they escape society, or will their own conflicts
destroy them on the way. This thriller starts out wonderfully, with a truly
intriguing premise, and throughout, it maintains a high degree of uncertainty
and tension. However, possibly because of such a strong buildup, it's ending
seems a bit too pat. Elisabeth Shue and Dermot Mulroney provide a high level
of sexual tension, but Kyle MacLachlan character is a bit too wimpish to
inspire much sympathy. The main strength of the film rests in its script. Written
and directed by David Koepp, The Trigger Effect conveys the fragility of society.
By focusing his attention on an everymanish family, he causes the audience to
question how they would react in similar circumstances. Even though the ending
doesn't quite keep up the pace, The Trigger Effect is an effective thriller.
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