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Triggermen (2002) Review

Review; Mar. 14, 2012; Channels: Movies; By Charles Rector

One film genre that’s the hardest to pull off successfully is the comedy drama or “dramady.” Another difficult undertaking is ripping off another successful filmmaker’s works without making it too obvious that your film is a ripoff. If a film attempts to pull off both feats simultaneously, then the end result is almost always a travesty. One such movie is 2002’s Triggermen.


Triggermen is an attempt to ripoff the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie while being an action-packed fun-filled gangster flick at the same time. Stuck in Chicago practically penniless, small-time British crooks Pete (Neil Morrissey) and Andy (Adrian Dunbar) can’t believe their luck when a stolen briefcase nets them a bundle of cash and the key to a luxurious hotel room.

However, there is a catch: local mafia boss Franco D’Amico (Louis DiBianco) has mistaken them for assassins and expects them to knock off his chief rival Ben Cutler (Pete Postlethwaite). Meanwhile, the real contract killers, or triggermen, super sharp Terry (Donnie Wahlberg) and moronic Tommy (Michael Rapaport), are left wondering why the man who hired them hasn’t got in touch.

Yes folks, Triggermen is also yet another entry in the beaten-to-death plot of “small time hoods after a quick buck get in way over their heads with big time gangsters.” Triggermen certainly adds another notch if anybody’s counting. We have all been down this road too many times for black comedies like this to provoke more than an apathetic shrug. Especially when there is neither comedy nor darkness to the movie.

Matters get unnecessarily complicated when Terry starts to lust after Emma (Claire Forlani), the daughter of the man he’s supposed to kill, and by the sudden arrival of Pete’s obviously pregnant wife Penny (Amanda Plummer). Meanwhile, the small time hoods debate whether they should kill Cutler as their inadvertent employer expects them to or just simply cut and run.

This film had a particularly good cast and then proceeded to utterly waste the talent. Triggermen could have been a pretty funny movie. It had all of the classic elements, but it was simply slow, boring, and most importantly, not funny.

Perhaps the biggest waste of talent is that of Morrissey, star of numerous British TV series who had a shot at international exposure in this movie. It's a shame the acting he exhibited in this flick was completely wasted on such a pathetic film. Another wasted talent is that of Forlani who has proven to be a talented actress in other productions. However, in this sad flick, her role required little more than sitting around looking pretty and trying to be polite to the thug who’s trying to romance her.

The best part of Triggermen was the washed-out cinematography that gave it a fairly unique look. Another decent aspect of this flick was the fact that the end credits scroll backward down the screen. It's unfortunate that one has to wait until the end of the film to see anything decent. Triggermen is a flick to avoid.

Editor's note: This review originally appeared on OMGN's former sister site FlickZone on Feb. 14, 2005.


Review Score


An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.

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