Barry Pepper makes the best of a rare leading man turn in “Trigger Point,” a predictable if efficient assassin “gone to ground” thriller filmed in end-of-winter Ontario.
He’s been credible as a man of violence since before “Saving Private Ryan,” and that makes him easy to accept as “Lewis,” a killer for “the Agency” until he was taken prisoner and talked some years before.
Now he’s hiding out on a remote, camouflaged farm with the usual CCTV cameras and movie prop “gun room” arsenal and standard issue cinematic flashbacks hinting at what he went through which pop up any time he’s “triggered.”
He uses a drone to check intruders — animal or human — on his property, a loner who always takes the one seat at the town diner where he can best see any potential threat and who makes himself useful at the local bookstore.
But the opening sequence of TV vet (“Hawaii 5-0,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” “MacGuyver”) Brad Turner’s film is filled with spitting sounds. Somebody is killing their way to him, and using a silencer as she does.
Colm Feore plays a former boss who finds Lewis first, a man fretting about old conspiracies, the crimes of Lewis, whom he calls “Nicholas,” and a daughter who’s been grabbed by the bad guys.
“Most of your friends want you dead more than your enemies” is an interesting way to say “Hello.”
Our man in Ontario finds himself shooting and sleuthing his way towards the missing Monica (Eve Harlow) and making a lot of spitting noises himself.
“Trigger Point” is shockingly conventional, with many a plot point, story beat and even shoot-out recycled from decades of other such films.
I used “efficient” earlier, as this picture piles up a body count without making the viewer deaf (silencers abound) or taking a lot of time doing it. But “perfunctory” seems more descriptive.
We know what’s coming. So does the cast. There’s not much point in any foot-dragging, then. Let’s get on with it.
The acting isn’t so much “bad” as pro forma, with players hired to do what they can do without breaking a sweat. Pepper and Feore do that with ease, and if the movie they’re doing more than go through the motions to perform in isn’t anything we haven’t seen too often before to let this be of any interest, that’s hardly their fault.
One “surprise?” The bad guy drives a Bentley. All these years of “Jaaaags” and they’re moving up in class?
MPA Rating: unrated, gun violence and lots of it
Cast: Barry Pepper, Colm Feore, Eve Harlow and Laura Vandervoort
Credits: Directed by Brad Turner, script by Michael Vickerman. A Screen Media release.
Running time: 1:22