The Film (3/5)
A former sniper and spotter team are reunited during a mysterious mission. The target is unknown and the location is a renovated high rise building. The Sniper (Dolph Lundgren) is iffy about the situation and is suspicious of the Spotter (Gina Bellman) because of their last assignment together. As they set up the next hit, no challenges pop up from a second sniper team and a cocaine filed security guard (Christopher Heyerdahl). Will the assignment be rigged or will the Sniper come out on top?
SILENT TRIGGER (1996) is an odd duck of an action thriller. Style over substance is the name of the game here. The movie looks and sounds awesome, but on a script writing level, it’s filled with awkward holes. Director Russell Mulcahy made a name for himself directing stylish music videos for a wide variety of 1980’s artists like Duran Duran and Bonnie Taylor. Afterwards he made the cult classic HIGHLANDER (1986) and started a career of making odd movies with high style and visual flair. SILENT TRIGGER is no expectation. The movie is pure eye candy with bright yellow and blue lights and a futuristic building set. There’s no logical reason for the building to be designed this way, but it is sure cool.
The action sequences are also packed with over the top stunts and creative uses for a sniper rifle. While the movie never reaches the highs of a John Woo classic, it’s still impressive just how nuts some of the scenes get. The two big standout sequences are the opening helicopter shoot out and the roof top strike. The soundtrack by Stefano Mainetti is good 90’s instrumental rock and jazz and furthers the thrills.
SILENT TRIGGER’s biggest script issue is the time wasted with the security guard character and his cocaine problems. A huge section of the movie is set aside for his shoehorned in fight with Dolph and Gina. What makes this scene even more maddening, is this untrained trailer trash guy somehow gets the upper hand twice! And in a latter scene he somehow ripped a toilet off the wall. One hilarious and pointless scene has the man in a near OD state imaging spiders all over the walls.
As for the rest of the script, the characters are written flatly, but that’s most of the movie’s charm. Dolph Lundgren (RED SCORPION, ROCKY 4) is likable and handles the action scenes well, but isn’t given much to do. Gina Bellman (TV’s Leverage) is easy on the eyes and has a kick in her step. Christopher Heyerdahl (HIGHLANDER THE FINAL DIMENSION) is fun to watch, but his character does nothing but wreck the pacing of the movie. Conrad Dunn (STRIPES) has an interesting part as a supervisor and makes up for the security guard package. Ultimately, SILENT TRIGGER is a surprisingly fun 1990’s action thriller that looks fabulous.
Audio/ Video (5/5)
This Subkultur Entertainment Blu-ray/ DVD Combo comes with a variety of Audio Options. First up is German surround DTS-HD Master Audio track. Everything is crystal clear with a well-tuned sound mix. The German dialogue is slightly louder than the English. There’s also a 5.1 track that sounds slightly better if you don’t have a surround sound system hooked up. The English DTS-HD Master Audio track is slightly softer, but everything is in check. No hisses or cracks. The sound effects are also superbly mixed and heighten the action. There’s also the 5.1 English track. Speaking of Sound Effects, An Isolated Music and Effects track is included that shows off how good they sound. German and English subtitles are included.
SILENT TRIGGER has a wonderful 1080p HD transfer, that is full of rich detail. Every scene is layered with detail, from chunks of broken glass to the heavy rain storm that is visible for most of the runtime. This transfer is crystal clear with no print damage and eye popping colors. The greens, blues, yellows, silvers, and purples shine in glorious fashion. The action sequences are also raised by this near perfect transfer, as everything is clearly visible with no shaky cam blur.
Subkultur has given SILENT TRIGGER a handsome set of extras as well. An interview with Sergio Altieri (with optional German subtitles) is up first, and Altieri comes a lot of ground on the production. Next up is a text filmography for Dolph Lundgren. What’s neat is the feature is loaded with Movie trailer Easter eggs. All the trailers can be found by clicking on the bullet logo. The trailers included are RED SCORPION, THE PUNISHER (1989), DARK ANGEL (aka I COME IN PEACE), THE EXPENDABLES, IN THE NAME OF THE KING 2: TWO WORLDS, THE EXPENDABLES 2, ONE IN THE CHAMBER, and THE EXPENDABLES 3. Next up is an image gallery. The German and French trailers are both here and look great. There’s also a video on the restoration process for the film. Rounding out the package is a 20-page booklet of liner notes in German. The English translation for these can be found on the disc as BD-ROM content.
SILENT TRIGGER is a pure eye candy, but on a story level it’s below average. I had a blast with this silly but gorgeous looking action movie. Subkultur’s Blu-ray looks unbelievably great. So, if you’re a Dolph fan or an action junkie, you could do worse. Recommended.
*Same features on the DVD.