Tracey Wright may not be a household name, even in her native Canada, but despite this she was involved in a lot of great stuff before her untimely passing in June of last year at the age of fifty from pancreatic cancer. When it was found out that she was terminally ill, some of her regular co-conspirators from the decades she had spent working in the Canadian film, TV and theater industries worked together on this project, knowing that in all likelihood it would be her last. And it was.
Directed by Bruce McDonald, best known for Highway 61 and Hardcore Logo, 2010's Trigger begins with a flashback to what we can assume where the grunge ridden 1990s where the titular band, lead by Vic (Tracey Wright) and Kat (Molly Parker), basically disintegrates on stage, some years of alcohol and drug abuse having finally taken their toll. Vic and Kat went their separate ways with Vic staying in her native Toronto shaking up with her pseudo-boyfriend (Wright's husband and McDonald regular Don McKeller) while staying true to her musical roots, and Kat having fled south for a cushy job in Los Angeles.
The core of the movie focuses on their reunion. Kat arranges to have Vic meet her at a fancy restaurant where she 'knows the chef' and shows up forty-five minutes late. After some restrained small talk, the digs start flying and the two ladies start laying into one another but as it so happens, there's a tribute to 'Women In Rock' being held in Toronto this very night - Kat talks Vic into begrudgingly attending and when they realize that their music did have some impact way back when, a very quick one song reunion takes place on stage that night, which leads to a visit to the after party and then the ensuing early morning hours which come afterwards. Throughout all of this are two women who obviously care about one another very much, but who just can't quite seem to find themselves in spite of this.
Parker and Wright, who worked together previously on McDonald's short lived TV series Twitch City (a fairly brilliant show that didn't get nearly the lifespan it deserved which cast Parker alongside McKeller as 'roommates' in Toronto) but here they really prove their stuff. This somehow makes a movie that is basically seventy eight minutes of two women arguing into something more, something that you actually care about even if you know that in the grand scheme of things you probably shouldn't. Maybe it's middle age setting in on the part of this writer but there's something almost tragic about the way that these two deal with their issues and something equally touching about the way that they do manage to put aside their differences, if only to a certain extent and not without stepping on one another's toes in a big way in the process.
McDonald's direction here is as stagy as the script and aside from a few scenes shout outside on the streets of Toronto, you almost get the impression that you could be watching a live theater production here. Though this is common with films that are almost nothing but dialogue, as this one is, the performances are so strong that you don't mind it so much. Had this been acted by lesser talent it would have sunk and sunk fast but it wasn't and as such, the film turns out to be strangely engrossing and a fitting swansong to Wright's career.
Trigger looks pretty good in this 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The picture is a little soft sometimes but it's probably a safe guess that it was shot that way. There are no problems with print damage at all and color reproduction looks as it should. Black levels are good but never hit reference quality while skin tones generally look nice and natural. All in all, the picture quality here is pretty standard and it looks just fine.
Two English language options are provided - Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound - and both sound quite good. The 5.1 track is the way to go if you've got the setup for it, as it helps bring the music to life with a little more power but both mixes feature crisp, clear dialogue and properly balanced levels. The score sounds great here, and if the lower end isn't all that powerful, well, this is a very dialogue-centric film, it doesn't necessarily need to be. Optional English closed captioning is also provided.
Extras are slim on this disc, limited to a trailer for the feature, trailer for a few other Wolfe Video releases, and a two minute clip of the two lead actresses practicing some line readings. Chapter stops and menus are also included.
While Trigger might be a little stagey, there's good reason for that as McDonald wisely let's his two leading ladies do all the heavy lifting here and to impressive effect at that. What may, on the surface, look like a cross between a trendy indy rock slice of life movie and a chick flick turns out to be a rock solid character heavy piece that works as a showcase for the considerable talents of Parker and Wright. Wolfe's DVD is light on extras but it looks and sounds good. This is an appropriately endearing finale for one of Canada's more underappreciated actresses and comes recommended.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.