Trigger Bruce McDonald

Trigger Bruce McDonald
Rock'n'roll auteur Bruce McDonald never slows down or rests on his laurels and he's been exceptionally busy of late, cranking out at least three major feature films in the span of a year, along with several TV episodes, documentaries and miscellany. McDonald lends his veteran presence and world-through-a-pint-glass sensibility to whatever comes his way in order to have the resources to dedicate to more personal projects. Trigger falls on the personal side. Named for the rock'n'roll partnership shared by Vic (Tracy Wright) and Kat (Molly Parker), Trigger consists largely of the prickly dialogue between Wright's rational, rehabbed ex-junkie and Parker's more sensitive L.A. sell-out, as Kat tries to convince Vic to attend a one-off reunion gig and tribute concert. Trigger is about reconciling with the ghosts of the past, and while the two women become closer over the course of the evening, the unsentimental answer suggests that time changes us irrevocably. Trigger is at its best when the two ex-best friends, reconnecting for the first time in years, try and iron out their differences, with the film engendering a genuine sense of anxiety as the duo bare their wounds. While Daniel MacIvor's dialogue is more theatrical than naturalistic, the two leads achieve the right tone. Wright, in particular, is astounding in her swan song (she would pass in June, 2010 from cancer), even overshadowing Parker, who admittedly has the less sympathetic role. That said, the film isn't without flaws, and its flaws are egregious. The concert reunion sequence, in which Trigger seamlessly step onstage to play their hit song, feels so rushed, forced and unrealistic that it makes KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park look like a documentary. A fight sequence between Vic and Kat is also extraordinarily poorly done, grinding the film to a halt. However, the sturdy excellence of the leads manages to right the ship. Disappointingly, the disc package is bare bones, with only a brief table read sequence and a hokey, completely unrelated Koyaanisqatsi-style short called One Breath. A wasted opportunity, to be sure, as Trigger's back-story is at least as interesting as the film itself. (eOne)