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The Trigger Effect Kyle MacLachlan Elizabeth Shue and Dermot Mulroney star in this West Coast power-outage thriller Telephones broadcast signals and all things electric flicker out in seven US states but all 50 states become targets of writerdirector David Koepps social themes Koepp author of scripts for Apartment Zero and Carlitos Way asserts several nicely focused messages about our societys lack of trust in team work and neighbors as well as our reliance on the immediate sense of protection firearms provide Koepp also makes his directoral debut here revealing a sharp eye for drama yet making less than satisfactory use of his locations The final product is a thoughtful picture that is unusual for its genre This is a complicated story The story begins with a tiff at a local movie house between a young couple and a pair of men over a spilled soft drink The scenario is staged in such a way that we have difficulty understanding the gradual rise in hostilities between the two parties and begin to wonder if they themselves understand the discord After this apparent non-event the couple go home Matt and Annie the couple played by MacLachlan and Shue awaken having lost operation of all household utilities including television and radio Annie discovers that their infant girl has another ear infection so Matt goes to local pharmacy to get the childs usual antibiotic There Matt is involved in yet another altercation He and Annie are soon joined by Joe Mulroney an old friend who brings rumor of looting and shootings going on in the city Annie suggests a sort of slumber party for the three adults Koepp then uses a sexual tension between Joe and Annie to magnify the miscommunication in Matt and Annies marriage Events get wilder still so these three decide that their neighborhood is no longer safe and hit the road to escape the city
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