Trigger warning: Jessica Alba stands out in this generic, lukewarm Netflix action movie

This film works if your standards for action movies are low.

Photo credit: Pool

Trigger Warning on paper, reads like a classic 90s film: a soldier returns home to find a neighbourhood terrorised by a small group, so the one individual must set things right. Familiar, right? While this concept is exciting, on paper, the final product's quality depends on the director and production team. This is where things can be perfect or go terribly wrong.

Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning is a 2024 American action thriller directed by Mouly Surya in her English-language debut and written by John Brancato, Josh Olson, and Halley Gross. Produced by Thunder Road Films and Lady Spitfire, the film stars Jessica Alba and Anthony Michael Hall. It follows a skilled Special Forces officer who inherits her father's bar after his death and soon finds herself confronting a violent gang in her hometown.

What works

The film looks promising, again on paper. I enjoyed the action sequences, which, though not on par with John Wick or Extraction, offer decent, evenly spread action. Jessica Alba's performance I thought was impressive as an action star, and it's clear that a lot of attention went into the stunts. The pacing benefits the film—it’s not a high-octane action movie, but it doesn't drag either. While the direction isn't particularly strong, it works for what the movie is. The performances are okay; the villains could have been better, but overall, it's "mid."

What doesn't work

The movie lacks a distinctive identity. Unlike John Wick's martial arts and gunplay, Extraction's dynamic camera work, The Equalizer's coolness, or Commando's excessive body count, this film lacks a unique personality or what the "x" that would help set it apart.

If you're anti-gun, the villains might make you uncomfortable, but they are generic, one-dimensional action movie villains. The actors look the part, but the writing doesn't give them much to work with.

The colour grading, especially in the opening scenes, was overly bright and oversaturated, forcing me to adjust my TV's screen profile.


This Netflix movie, like many other Netflix originals, is driven by a lacklustre script brought to life by decently choreographed action scenes and Jessica Alba's performance. The direction and performances are mediocre. This film works if your standards for action movies are low or if you just want something playing in the background while you do something else.

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