Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 25, 2021)
Back in the 90s, Barry Pepper looked like an actor who might become a leading man eventually. Though that never really happened, he maintained a decent career based on supporting parts with the occasional starring role, a circumstance that finds him as the main character in 2021’s Trigger Point.
Via a prologue, we see a mysterious assassin murder a mix of people in New York City. From there we jump ahead a year to meet Nicolas Shaw (Pepper), a man who lives a solitary existence, one in which he maintains both ample security options and a private arsenal.
Once a well-regarded US secret agent, Shaw retired in disgrace after he revealed the identities of his colleagues under torture. It turns out these folks are the victims assassinated in the prologue, and Shaw became implicated in the crime.
Shaw finds himself back in the saddle when the mysterious kingpin “Quentin” kidnaps Monica (Eve Harlow), the daughter of Shaw’s former colleague Elias Kane (Colm Feore). The agents embark on a mission to stop the culprit and rescue Monica.
All of that sounds like the material for a serviceable thriller. No, nothing there seems especially intriguing or dynamic, but Point comes with the roots of a decent genre flick, and it tosses out some inevitable curveballs along the way.
Unfortunately, it does little with its potential excitement or drama. Slow and plodding, the movie lacks a pulse.
Some of this may stem from what I assume to be a low budget. Whereas a more expensive flick could indulge in big set pieces and the like, Point seems to have cost about $27, and this apparent lack of cash harms the film’s production values.
To be fair, the crew does what they can with that money, so I can’t call Point a cheap-looking flick. It just seems more constrained than a tale like this should be, and the resultant limitations ensure it fails to bring the story to life in a particularly evocative manner, as it always feels like the filmmakers battle against the low budget.
That said, I don’t know how much anyone could’ve done with Point given the monotony of its dull script. As I noted, the story offers the bones of a workable genre effort, so the movie comes with at least moderate potential.
Unfortunately, Point suffers from a screenplay that feels like it goes out of its way to tamp down any potential drama or excitement. It sets up dull, underdrawn characters and places them in dull, underdrawn situations that evoke no thrills.
I also doesn’t help that Point often feels like it borrows liberally from the Jason Bourne movies. While I don’t love that franchise, Point seems completely inferior to those flicks, and it can often feel like a cheap knockoff.
Director Brad Turner does nothing to improve the situation. He paints the tale in a banal manner that never threatens to ignite or create anything engaging.
The actors all look bored, as if they realize they find themselves stuck in a clunker and want the shoot to end. Pepper seems wrong for the role anyway, as he can’t pull off the kind of super-agent the movie requires.
Even at a mere 82 minutes, Point drags. This becomes a sub-mediocre excuse for an action flick.