It’s Every Man For Themselves In The Trigger Effect & Body Count

by Rachel Bellwoar

No matter how you look at it, two movies for the price of one is a good deal. It would be nice if they were both winners but all you really need is one to walk away satisfied. That’s why while I wasn’t a fan of Robert Patton-Spruill’s Body Count, Mill Creek’s Double Feature, The Trigger Effect & Body Count, is still a winner in my book. David Koepp’s The Trigger Effect was the movie I was most looking forward to see, and it doesn’t disappoint.

I think it’s the fact that The Trigger Effect isn’t a Doomsday story that gets me the most. From the way people behave in this movie you’d be right to think that it was but that’s not what’s going on. It’s a power outage. One that takes longer than most to end, perhaps, but a power outage, nonetheless. What is it about this one that garners such an extreme reaction?
From the title you have this gun version of the butterfly effect and that’s how Matt (Kyle MacLachlan) and his wife, Annie (Elisabeth Shue) are introduced, at the tail end of this chain of human interactions. Two guys are talking during the movie they’ve gone to see, and Annie wants Matt to say something to them. For Matt, though, conflict is best avoided, so when the power goes out and Annie invites their friend, Joe (Dermot Mulroney) to stay with them, Matt feels his masculinity threatened.
Machoism plays a role in Matt’s decisions from that point forward (including buying a gun when he’s never wanted to own one before), but jealousy’s only half of what this movie has going for it. You’ve also got class issues, with Matt and Annie trying to preserve their textbook, American family. Judgement turning into justification, when circumstances change. A shortage of information causing people to panic. It’s every man for themselves in this film.
“Every man for themselves” is a good way of describing Body Count, as well, which is about five guys who pull off an art heist but not everything goes according to plan. The film picks up right after the robbery’s taken place. There’s a contact in Miami who will take the paintings off their hands, but can they make the trip without killing each other first? Nothing about this film makes it necessary viewing, except maybe the cast if there’s an actor you’d watch anything with them in. While Hobbs (David Caruso) tries to pin all their problems on Chino (John Leguizamo, so good recently on Netflix’s When They See Us), making out like his death would solve everything, that theory gets debunked awfully quick and it’s one of the more interesting choices the film makes — not to have one person be to blame for everything. Chino made the first error in judgement but he’s not the only one endangering their pay day. Even the last line of the film leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Other films are guilty of being more unwatchable, but Body Count is forgettable.
The Trigger Effect & Body Count is available now on Blu-Ray from Mill Creek Entertainment.

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