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Caleb Gottry

Movie Review

Parker, a Special Forces commando, had just finished kicking some Syrian bad guys in the proverbial backside when she gets the call: Her dad has died in a mining accident.

Not two days after she returns to her small town after receiving that tragic news, Parker starts to think her father’s death may not have been an accident after all. And strong clues point toward a powerful politician named Sen. Swann.

Something seems suspicious about how Swann is funding his reelection campaign. In fact, the suspect funds flowing into his coffers might just be tied to his son, Elvis, who has illegal access to military-grade weapons.

Complicating matters further, Parker’s old romantic partner, Sheriff Jesse Swann, is—as his last name suggests—related to the story’s shady characters. Elvis is Jesse’s brother. And Sen. Swann is Jesse’s father. Where will Jesse’s true loyalties lie, with Parker or with his family? 

The more Parker snoops around looking for information, the more she sees that a violent gang seems to be running the town of Creation. Parker just wants to know what happened to her father.

And when she finally figures it out? Well, let’s just say that neither fire, blood nor death can stop her from enacting justice.

Positive Elements

Parker’s father is remembered fondly. In flashbacks, we see that he raised Parker with love to be brave and skilled.

For her part, Parker seeks justice for her father’s apparent murder. While her methods are—as we’ll see—quite questionable, her aim to shine a light on corruption is a noble intent.

Parker cares deeply about one friend’s safety. Likewise, her friends take care of her when she is injured. They hide Parker from her enemies, even at the risk of some physical harm.

The movie ends on a more positive note as the corruption is brought to light, and the town of Creation starts to rebuild.

Spiritual Elements

Sen. Swann says that he stands for “freedom, family and faith.” He ends a short speech by saying, “God bless America.” The politician later confesses that his appropriation of spiritual language is all a just a front and that he values power over policy.

Sexual Content

When Parker returns to town, Elvis Swann crudely jokes about her getting back together sexually with his brother Jesse (who was her prom date back in the day).

Later Parker is seen lying in bed with Jesse, both apparently unclothed under the sheets with their bare shoulders visible.

We hear that Elvis watches porn.

Parker calls her Special Forces partner, Spider, “hot stuff.” She likewise calls an old family friend, Mo, a “sexy b—ch.” That said, she’s not involved with either.

Violent Content

Violence is prolific throughout the movie.

Military-grade weapons are fired; and when they hit their mark, we see blood. Parker’s weapon of choice is her knife (and later a machete), and we witness several gruesome and bloody stabbings. There is also plenty of brutal hand-to-hand combat, including a chained-up torture scene of a woman. Throughout these scenes, we see blood through clothing and on the floors, walls and weapons.

One character burns down a bar using bottles of alcohol and matches. When he tries to burn Parker, he falls to his death in the inferno.

Several main characters die, and no one comes out unscathed here. Feet stick out of a body bag that is being buried.

Later, one character blows himself up with a hand grenade. We see the explosion, the blood on the wall, and the legs of the victim (the rest of the body is hidden behind large crates).

Parker’s father is rumored to have killed himself.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear about 40 s-words and close to 30 f-words. God’s name is abused some 12 times, including at least five pairings “d–n.” Jesus’ name is likewise used in vain four times.

We also hear “b–ch” five times, “d–k” twice, “h—” eight times and “a–” five times.

A racial slur is used twice to target Latin Americans.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Many characters drink, sometimes socially, sometimes seemingly to “drown their sorrows.”

Mike, a friend of Parker’s, grows and smokes marijuana. He has a large stash of the stuff, some of which is purportedly medicinal.

According to a government record, Elvis sold drugs to kids.

Parker asks for and takes pain drugs.

Other Negative Elements

Members of the Swann family lie a lot. Parker is not entirely honest, either, using any means necessary to enact her retribution.

While Jesse sometimes refuses to do the wrong thing and often questions and rebukes his brother’s actions, he never really succeeds in doing the right thing, either. He merely tries to help everyone on both sides get out of the situation without consequences. In the end, he realizes he should’ve left before he got pulled into everything.

One character is a skilled hacker.

Conclusion

Spoiler warning: Trigger Warning is not a family-friendly movie. Then again, you probably figured that out by now.

The initial scene in Syria gives viewers a taste of the violence and profanity that will only intensify as the corruption becomes more desperate and the vigilante thirsts more and more for justice.

That brutal content is one of the biggest issues here, paired with a lot of harsh profanity, too. Parker works under the assumption that she can solve every problem with her knife. And based on the ending of the movie, she doesn’t seem to be wrong about that assumption.

While Parker does offer one character grace, elsewhere she acts as judge, jury and executioner for everyone else.

Some might be excited to see Jessica Alba’s return to feature films after a long hiatus. But in this John Wick-esque vigilante romp, the nonstop bloodletting and vulgarity should definitely give families pause—a message that was right there in the title all along.

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Caleb Gottry

Caleb Gottry is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2024. Caleb studies journalism with a minor in music at Texas Christian University, where he will be a junior in the fall. He loves playing with words, listening to and making music, and spending any spare time with friends or family.