Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Movie Review : The Trigger Effect

Movie Review : The Trigger Effect
Released : 1996
Director: David Koepp
Genre : Thriller
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Elisabeth Shue
My Rating : 6 out of 10

While browsing the TV Guide, I came across this movie - it had an interesting enough synopsis, that perked my curiosity enough to record it on the DVR and watch it later.

Which movie would you prefer to watch about some Aliens attacking planet earth ? Is it "Independence Day" or "Signs" ? (Maybe for you the answer is "neither", but that's beside the point !) Do you prefer loud action ? Or do you prefer to see how ordinary people would react to extra-ordinary circumstances ? That answer should decide if you want to try "The Trigger Effect" or avoid it.

The situation in this movie is not post-apocalyptic, but has certain resemblance to it. Here a mysterious power outage throws a family's life in disarray. The movie does not explain why exactly the outage happened, and that's fine by me. What it tries to do is to show how common people would try to cope up with complete lack of electricity, no telephone, no radio/TV, no communication of any sort. This is 180 degrees opposite of "Mad Max 2". People in this movie are close to a breaking point and there are indications that if power is not restored, there will be anarchy. But everyone's trying his or her best to hang in there.

This is the kind of treatment I like. And if the movie is willing to go off a beaten path, I am more than willing to take a tolerant view of it. So while such a movie may seem boring to some, I am drawn to any such attempt of "new treatment". In spite of such biases, the movie was not entirely satisfying to me.

Generally this happens because of a hasty, contrived ending. The problem here is quite opposite. The latter half of the movie is quite tense and well crafted. The issue I have is with the setup. It takes forever for director David Koepp to establish the characters and their relationship. And even then, we don't really learn much about them. So chances are many viewers would start yawning and switch off before the 1st quarter of the movie is over.

Fortunately, there is no preaching about how over-dependence on the technology is bad. The movie is far away from being a Sci-Fi. I think the movie is incorrectly labeled as a "thriller", and "drama" would be a better genre for it.

I have very mixed feeling about recommending this movie. It's rated 'R' and is not for kids. It's definitely not a waste of time, but I don't see any compelling reason to go out and rent it either.

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