2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
Triggermen This offbeat crime farce has a few decent set pieces in it, but suffers from a seriously lame script. Two British men, Andy and Pete (Dunbar and Morrissey), are in Chicago for some reason when they're mistaken for hitmen by a crime boss (Di Bianco) who's trying to eliminate the competition (Postlethwaite). Meanwhile in the same hotel the real hitmen, Terry and Tommy (Wahlberg and Rapaport), are awaiting their orders, while Tommy finds time to woo a strange woman (Forlani) he spots in the lobby ... and who no doubt is intricately entwined in all of this. And back home in Britain, Andy's girlfriend (Plummer) is trying to get up the nerve to phone and tell him she's pregnant--or maybe make a surprise visit!

The film's goofy structure makes it much wackier than most crime comedies, although it's shot in a colour-drained style that suggests something far grittier. If only. This is pure silliness from start to finish, in which even the few characters who die are the butts of a bad joke. While Bradshaw directs with some style, he and the cast are left stranded by all the clunky dialog, lame plotting and seriously unfunny gags. Despite all this, the actors are relatively watchable. Wahlberg and Forlani do their best with their deeply underdeveloped romance; Dunbar is fine as the hapless smart guy caught up in something truly stupid; Rapaport, Postlethwaite, Plummer, and so on, are all fine. Morrissey, however, seems to think he's still in Men Behaving Badly, mugging shamelessly in most scenes and overplaying everything. Since he's at the centre of the ensemble, this is a big problem! And it doesn't help that there's not a likeable character here ... simply because screenwriter Johnston didn't bother to actually write any characters into the film. And without real characters, a farce can't work at all.

cert 15 themes, language, violence 16.Sep.03

dir John Bradshaw
scr Tony Johnston
with Adrian Dunbar, Neil Morrissey, Donnie Wahlberg, Claire Forlani, Michael Rapaport, Pete Postlethwaite, Louis Di Bianco, Amanda Plummer, Bill MacDonald, Shawn Lawrence, James Collins, Saul Rubinek
release UK 28.Nov.03
03/UK 1h36

Hopeless hitmen: Wahlberg, Dunbar and Morrissey.

forlani rapaport postlethwaite
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R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Triggermen Andy, London: 4 out of 5 stars "I liked this movie despite the diabolical reviews. It's funny and the plot twist at the end is genius. Its a check your brain at the door kind of movie, but I'd personally prefer that at this time of the year. Give it a go." (27.Dec.03)
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall