Bullet Points: Silent Trigger
Here is a question that has been bothering me for quite some time… why would anyone ever want to become an assassin?
I imagine professional killers are paid well, but all of the money in the world can’t erase the psychological burden of knowing you took another person’s life. Plus, if action movies have taught me anything it is that eventually the very people who have been paying you so handsomely to kill for them, will eventually pay someone to have you killed. There are countless examples of this from 1972’s The Mechanic starring Charles Bronson to 2018’s Accident Man starring Scott Adkins and tons of movies in between like 1996’s Silent Trigger starring Dolph Lundgren…
- The Failed Assignment: Dolph Lundgren plays a sniper working for a secret government agency. As the movie begins we go into flashback mode, as Dolph’s character reflects back to an assignment that did not go as planned. Dolph the shooter is paired with a rookie spotter (played by Gina Bellman), the two are holed up in a dilapidated and abandoned bell tower awaiting their target, a female politician who is set to appear at a rally in her honor. Dolph gets the order to kill just as the politician hits the stage and picks up a baby out of the adoring crowd. Dolph refuses to take the shot despite repeated orders to do so. Next thing you know a military helicopter is approaching the bell tower and opens fire on shooter and spotter. This sets up a pulse pounding action piece to really get things rolling and ends with the helicopter crashing into the bell tower and exploding. The events that immediately follow the exploding helicopter would be seen in flashback form through out the rest of the movie.
- The Next Assignment: Some time has passed when we next see our female spotter from the opening action sequence. She is on to a new assignment that requires her to meet up with her shooter in the penthouse of the unfinished headquarters of the Algonquin Corporation. The building sort of reminded me of the unfinished Death Star from Return of the Jedi, except it wasn’t fully operational, did not have any employees in it (short of two security guards) and it certainly did not have the ability to blow up entire planets, so I guess it was nothing like the unfinished Death Star from Return of the Jedi. Posing as a computer technician, she gains entry to the building and almost immediately becomes the sexual harassment target of one of the security guards O’Hara (the only character in the movie to get an actual name). O’Hara is a real piece of work, drinking on the job and even snorting a little coke. Our spotter manages to put O’Hara in his place and goes up to the penthouse where she will soon find herself reunited with Dolph Lundgren’s character. Dolph had to use more stealthy means of gaining access to the building but once he arrives, he is surprised to find himself working with Gina Bellman’s character once again and memories of their time together in the bell tower come flooding back.
- The Last Assignment?: There are more unexpected surprises in store for our shooter and spotter… like I bet the two didn’t count on making love to their co-worker when they first got the assignment but it most definitely happens (complete with ample female nudity). Both also have to deal with a persistent O’Hara, who is horny and all hopped up on cocaine and wants a piece of Gina Bellman’s character in the worst way. Then there’s the second security guard (played by Conrad Dunn of Death Warrant fame) who it turns out is actually a supervisor for the agency that our shooter and spotter work for and is there to make sure the job gets done, but is it the job of our shooter and spotter or the job of that team of snipers on the roof of the building across the street?!?
Silent Trigger was a real departure from the typical Dolph Lundgren movie, especially back in 1996. The lack of character names was an interesting artistic choice that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the movie but made writing this review a real pain in the ass.
But it never pains me to share some Bonus Bullet Points with you…
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Dolph Lundgren handcuff a man to a public toilet, then this is the movie for you.
- AKA: The working title for the film was The Algonquin Goodbye (which is an awful name for an action movie). In France the movie was released as Assassin Warrior (kind of misleading if you ask me) and in Japan it was released under the title Sniper. This got me to wondering what they called the Tom Berenger/Billy Zane starring Sniper in Japan. The answer… Leopard Never Sleeps.
- Reunited: Dolph Lundgren and Conrad Dunn would work with one another again in 2004’s Direct Action.
- Best Acronym: T.F.B. which stands for too fucking bad.
- If You Ever: …believed Dolph Lundgren should start a movie wearing nothing but a pair of boxers, then this is the movie for you.