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Trigger Warning Review (2024): Action Thriller that Losing Its Potential

Indonesian director Mouly Surya collaborated with Jessica Alba for Trigger Warning, the latest action thriller movie premiering on Netflix this June. Failing to combine the action, script, and main characters' struggles led to Mouly and Alba's potential to shine.

Jessica Alba in Mouly Surya's Trigger Warning on Netflix

This movie was described as a female-led cross between John Wick and First Blood, even though, based on the narrative of its 104-minute duration, the scale and theme are more similar to the female version of Standing Tall.

Lack of passion and action

Alba played Parker, a Special Forces commando who went home after the news about her father passing away. Later on, she realizes that she inherited the bar her father built. She encountered Sheriff Jesse Swann (Mark Webber), her former boyfriend and son of Senator Ezekiel (Anthony Michael Hall).

She found the mystery of her passing father. Her instinct and investigation led to Elvis Swann (Jake Weary), brother of Jesse and Ezekiel's son, who allegedly ran an illegal gun business. Helped by her partner, Spider (Tone Bell), she seeks revenge for her father's death against the senator and his troops.

Jessica Alba and Anthony Michael Hall in Trigger Warning Netflix

This movie opens with the scene of Parker fighting terrorists, which describes her character as a by-the-book soldier, even though seemingly off to build up the plot. The quality of CGI in the opening scenes is debatable, exposing how Mouly would think hard to tackle the budget to make a proper set for this movie.

Irregularities in the scenario are palpable, considering that this film was written by John Brancato, Josh Olson, and Halley Wegryn Gross. The chaotic opening plays a significant role in setting the tone of this movie, displaying how the whole story loses coherence with a messy pace.

Cheesy dialogue, confused choreography, disappointing editing, and Alba's underperformed character with no motives make this film no different from the other Netflix b-movies produced only for pure and weightless entertainment on smaller screens.

Mouly Surya's English feature debut

Mouly Surya is set to gain fame after directing Marlina the Murderer on Four Acts (2017). Exploring the same genre and (supposedly) more intense action than Marlina, this collaboration with Alba recorded her first English feature debut.

Her specialty is taking on female survival by struggling and being prejudiced in the men's world. However, in the end, the lack of action intensity and Latinx plot, which could be the central theme for Alba's Parker, hinder her ability to shine in her first collaboration with Netflix.

Jessica Alba in Trigger Warning Netflix

You can still feel Mouly's soulful direction and scene exploration. The art of the Western vibe, including the footage of mountains from the distance of the Southwestern region of the United States landscape, is fierce but refreshing.

With so much energy, charm, and perspective in her previous films, this film feels like a nightmare that she tried to control, but unfortunately, it didn't work. The script, choreography, and pacing shape its losing charm, like a poorly aged blockbuster from the past.

Trigger Warning, by far, is not the worst Netflix movie, even with the streaming service's bloated and popular revenge theme. However, with the horrible script and terrible action, it is a shacky Hollywood debut for Mouly Surya.

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