Review Jessica Alba's Trigger Warning a strong action movie on Netflix

Review: Jessica Alba’s Trigger Warning a strong action movie on Netflix


With her first film in five years, the actor makes a respectable attempt to launch a new franchise. We haven’t seen a lot of Jessica Alba lately; the once-hard-to-avoid star (she starred in 13 films between 2007 and 2010) has mostly stepped back from the spotlight (she appeared in just two between 2018 and 2024). She took this time to focus on raising her three children and growing her eco-friendly, don’t call it Goop brand, The Honest Company, which at its peak was worth $1 billion, compelling enough to put a temporary hiatus on her acting career.

Review Jessica Alba's Trigger Warning a strong action movie on Netflix

However, she chose to start her own production company after leaving her position as COO, and she is currently starring in her first legitimate lead role since the little-seen horror film The Veil from 2016. The genre and platform choices are astute; the action film on Netflix is sure to be a hit, and her 2000s-era celebrity makes her an ideal match for the same audience that flocks to the streamer’s most recent Adam Sandler and Jennifer Lopez productions. Trigger Warning, which opens on a somewhat slow weekend for new releases at theaters, is probably going to find its niche among Netflix’s gullible action fans, who have gladly turned a number of failures into hits.

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Touted as a franchise-starter and somewhat more ambitiously compared to both Rambo and John Wick when it was first announced back in 2016, Alba gets the chance to go from having no screen time to having 100, appearing in nearly every scene. This is an opportunity that she is unlikely to get in a widely distributed theatrical release at this point. She portrays Parker, a commando in the special forces who is called back to her little hometown after her father’s death, which she believes was murder but may have actually been a suicide. Some dubious characters are pursuing her, including the anti-woke, ultra-conservative senator Anthony Michael Hall, his trigger-happy son, and a few local offenders exhibiting actions she can’t help but notice.

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We’re in the realm of classic action movies from the 1980s, as one scene clearly suggests when a character watches and remarks on a Chuck Norris film. It’s a stripped-down formula retelling that required three writers (John Brancato, Josh Olson, and Halley Gross) to piece together. There’s a hint of something going on in movies like A History of, and although Trigger Warning would have benefitted from a somewhat more thoughtful script, it’s still functional and slick, with occasional hints of political intrigue. Trigger Warning is still very much a military film, but it’s also a violent one. The Reagan-era shoot-em-ups that it’s modeled after were not recognized for their progressive; instead, they pushed a harsh, red meat conservative agenda.

It’s not quite enough to propel the movie into truly intelligent or significant terrain, but it does give Alba’s inevitable and compelling revenge mission a punchy election-year rage, and it tracks that the film was directed by a non-American—the Indonesian filmmaker Mouly Surya making his English-language debut. Alba hasn’t always left the best impression as an actor, but this suits her well because it makes her seem convincing in her many scenes involving hand-to-hand combat (she prefers to use knives over guns) and as an archetypal movie star with a lot of charisma but little emotional depth. While nothing about this reintroduction is particularly noteworthy enough call for more from the character, there are worse possibilities for a sequel, particularly within Netflix’s franchise farm. Still, it’s a fairly simple but effective reintroduction.

It’s a copy of a copy of a copy designed to fade from one’s memory as soon as the credits roll, much like the streamer’s numerous rom-coms that don’t require any attention. That will suffice for Friday night; however, by Sunday, don’t count on remembering it.

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