‘Trigger Warning’ Review: Jessica Alba Competes With Jennifer Lopez For Worst Movie Of The Year

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 21, 2024
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Jessica Alba as Parker in Trigger Warning Image for Review and Ending Explained (Credit - Netflix)
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Summary

A Dollar Tree action character for Jessica Alba, terrible choreography, and a poor script — Trigger Warning is one of the worst action movies of the year.

I highly doubt Trigger Warning needed three lead writers overseeing this project. If it did, I’d love to know what they were doing. Whether I like a generic movie depends on how much fun I have, but I had zero fun here because Jessica Alba didn’t care. At one point, my poor partner had to walk in and ask if I was okay because I kept shouting, “What’s happening here!?” Safe to say, I was exasperated and confused by how dumb this was. 

The premise can be whatever you want, which is an impressive achievement for Trigger Warning. Jessica Alba plays Parker, a Special Forces Commando who returns to her hometown to look after her father’s bar after he dies. His death looks suspicious; he died in a cave-in in a mine and left a basic letter saying he misses her. Parker intuitively looks into her father’s death, which leads to a gang that runs rife through the town. 

Cue the weirdly timed dramatic music as Parker returns home and visits her high school prom date, Jesse (now the town’s sheriff), who is acting super suspicious about her father’s death; based on that alone, you’d think you’d have a sensible action movie on your hands, but the entire approach, from acting to mannerisms, is fatally wrong. There’s zero soul in Jessica Alba’s eyes. Her grief is sudden as her character Parker looks like she barely cares about her father’s death, despite flashbacks implying they had a close relationship. 

Also, Parker loves using knives. It’s her main form of attack. Coupled with this, Parker exists in a seemingly normal world, apart from the fact that there are no parameters on who can be killed by her knife-wielding actions. Roll on the lousy choreography, and you have the equivalent of a University-made film project injected by big finance. 

I would love to tell my readers what on earth Trigger Warning is about. I’m not against cheesy action movies, but you lose the audience when there are no narrative rules or threshold to what needs to be achieved. The “fun” of the action becomes mind-numbing. 

I could easily say it’s about Parker looking for the truth of her father’s death, but the conspiracy keeps peeling back, with a dreadful script and oddly implied lines. Again, it doesn’t help that Parker does not seem to care that her father has died. Her obsession with slicing people up may have suppressed her emotions entirely. I don’t know how and why this character was created. The writers needed a niche character for Jessica Alba to own, but they gave her a Dollar Tree version of Black Widow

I’m tired of raising this, but I’ve often said I sniff a money laundering operation with these movies. So much cash is burned to bring a college drama script to life that it is sickening. But this feels far more obvious than Jennifer Lopez’s Atlas. The only difference is that the cast in that movie had fun. This cast looks miserable, waiting for the Netflix paycheque. 

If you make it to the end, you’ll be treated to at least some moving action scenes, but the character’s journey does not make sense. The mine in which Parker’s father dies is an important focus of the story, but it’s leveled to a fantasy tunnel that can lead anywhere. 

One final point: when you were younger, did you ever “pretend play” with your friends? I remember once when at school, my friends and I used to play out made-up scenarios as if we were wrestlers for the WWE. There used to be other scenarios, too, which always led to pretend play fighting. That’s what the action scenes look like in Trigger Warning

Hopefully, this review is all you need.

[Warning: From Here There Will Be Spoilers — Don’t Comment Below Saying I Spoiled It For You]

 Jessica Alba as Parker in Trigger Warning

Jessica Alba as Parker in Trigger Warning (Credit – Netflix)

Trigger Warning Ending Explained (In Case You Care)

If you even make it to the end of Trigger Warning, you will probably wonder what the convoluted moments mean. And annoyingly, I had to understand it, so here goes.

Why Parker’s father died

It’s well established that the Swann family is not to be trusted. They consist of Senator Ezekiel, Jesse (the Sheriff), and Elvis. By the third act, Parker suspects her father died because of a major conspiracy: it turns out that Elvis used her father’s mine to transport weapons to a military depot for a terrorist named Ghost (honestly, some of the names used make me sick). If the Swann family does not deliver more weapons in time, they’ll be in trouble because, you know, they are dealing with a dangerous terrorist.

Although implied, Parker learns that Jesse shot her father in the back while in the mine, as he undoubtedly discovered the crimes committed. He let off a grenade to bring the rubble down that killed him.

What happens in the mine and weapons depot?

The story stops becoming a vengeance mission for Parker, and she becomes determined to stop the terrorists and the Swann family. And that she does. Using a new machete she found, she fights through the mine and makes it to the weapons depot. She kills Ghost on the way, too, removing the key terrorist (who, by the way, was elusive and untouchable until he met knife-wielding Parker).

All that’s left for Parker is tracking down Jesse when she reaches the depot. Eventually, she does, and it’s emotional for the characters due to their odd romance and history — she reminds Jesse that her father treated him like a son. But Jesse feels like there’s nowhere else to go. He hates where he lives, and he blows himself up with a grenade. Parker did try to calm the situation down before this and seemingly forgave him, adding to a very woeful and illogical script. 

Up until this point, we had zero idea of Jesse’s mental state, so this is completely new to the audience and has no impact whatsoever. The Swann family is dead, and the terrorist cell is no more. Big success for Parker, who now has a whole future in front of her as a knife-wielding Special Forces Agent. She doesn’t have her father, but she barely cares anyway.

What did you think of my review of Trigger Warning? Did you feel I was too harsh? Comment below.


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