Monday, May 10, 2010

'Triggermen' is fun but unimpressive

Triggermen (2003)
Starring: Neil Morrissey, Adrian Dunbar, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Rappaport, Claire Forlani, and Pete Postlethwaite
Director: John Bradshaw
Steve's Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Two small-time English thieves (Morrissey and Dunbar) come to Chicago in search of a big score, but instead find themselves mistaken for a pair of hitmen contracted to kill a mob boss who wants to retire (Postlethwaite). They take the payment and intend to run with the cash before they have to make good on the hit... but first they want to live it up a little. Meanwhile, the real killers (Wahlberg and Rappaport) are staying in the same hotel, waiting for their contact to provide them with cash and instructions. The situation becomes even more complicated when one of the assassins (who is also hoping to retire from his life of violent crime) meets and instantly falls in love with a woman (Forlani) who turns out to be the mob boss' daughter. Professional intergrity and mob codes of honor dictate that someone will have to be dead when the confusion and mistaken identies are sorted out.

"Triggermen" is an amusing crime comedy that will appeal first and foremost of fans of Donald Westlake novels and those who enjoy films like "Snatch" and "A Fish Called Wanda." Like in Westlake's best books, we stay involved with the story in "Triggermen" because all the main characters are very likable, despite the fact they're virtually all hardcore criminals, and because of the ever-escalating difficulties some of them find themselves in.

"Triggermen" doesn't bring anything new to this type of movie, but the acting and scripting is good enough to make it a worthwhile film nonetheless. It could even have been a Seven Star film if it had been slightly quicker in its pace. Once all the players in the drama and confusion have been introduced, the film seems to lose its way in a meandering second act.

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