Saturday, April 03, 2010

Russell Mulcahy and Dolph Lundgren: Silent Trigger

I spotted an interesting film on VHs in a thrift store for 50 cents: Silent Trigger (1996), directed by Russell Mulcahy, starring Dolph Lundgren. Sure it wasn't anything to wet your pants (I mean: Dolph Lundgren?!), but I was intrigued by the concept: an action figure like Lundgren under the hypercinematic direction of Russell Mulcahy, known for Highlander, Ricochet and Razorback. I remember liking Ricochet, though I haven't seen it since the premiere, and there are certain qualities about Razorback. For some reason or another, I'm not sure if I've ever seen any of the Highlander movies. I liked Mulcahy's made-for-television film on World War I, called The Lost Batallion. While Mulcahy tended to show off his techniques a bit too much, it didn't really diminish the film's value. But yeah, I know, Mulcahy also did The Shadow...

Some commentators on IMDB call Silent Trigger an art-house action film. I wouldn't really call it an art-house film, but there are certain interesting moments throughout the movie. The screenplay uses a flashback structure, with scenes mingling freely within each other, and some of the plot points are never wholly explained, which brings certain New Wave movies to mind. Then again, the motivation behind the characters is badly developed, the dialogue is stilted and full of clichés, and the main tension in the plot is being developed all too long. The whole notion of two professional assassins being held back by a heroin-addicted guard is stupid. Mulcahy directs with his usual tricks and often shows flair for great shots.

And then there's Dolph Lundgren. I don't really know what to say of him. To say he can't act is pretty banal, but there's not much charisma to him either. He's not even very good-looking, even though his physique is impressive. He's not very well suited to play this assassin, who's suddenly getting tired of his job and its political implications. It's a theme that someone like Kevin Wignall handles superbly, but Russell Mulcahy and Dolph Lundgren are not Kevin Wignall. (Yeah, different media, but still.)

1 comment:

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