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Featured TV on DVD Review: Triggerman

January 16th, 2011

Triggerman - Buy from Amazon

Triggerman is the sequel to Doc West, which I reviewed previously. I called that film a pleasant enough experience, but it lacked the edge that most Westerns have. It felt more like a good episode of Dr. Quinn than the average movie; however, since it was a TV movie in its native Italy. Going in with this expectation, how well does Triggerman perform?

The Movie

In the first movie, we learn that Minnesota West, our hero and poker player, used to be a doctor. However, his alcoholism caused the death of a woman on the operating table. As a result, he gave up the bottle, as well as his profession, and took to gambling to make money. Once he arrives in Holysand, he's the only doctor around and he's back to practicing medicine, but he hasn't given up gambling either.

This film starts with West trying to save a woman going through a difficult pregnancy. He saves both her and her child, but while he's doing good work here, he know he has to leave. After the tragedy of before, he's been sending money to the daughter of the woman he killed so she could get an education. That money is about to run out, and since no one in Holysand will play cards with him (his reputation is too good) he's planning on leaving for a mining town nearby. But before he goes, there's a good old-fashioned barroom brawl and a lot of people are in need of medical help. It's at this time the idea of building a hospital is floated, but they would need a lot of money to do that. What better way is there to raise a lot of money than to hold a poker tournament? Of course, not everyone attracted to a poker tournament is the honest sort.

That's the main thrust of the plot, while there's also a few threads involving some romance for a number of characters, as well as some rivalries and such. But the film is mostly about the tournament.

So how does this one compare to the original? It's nearly identical in terms of quality. Terrance Hill is charming as Doc West; it's a role similar to the ones that made him famous. It's always fun to see Paul Sorvino, while his character has more development this time around. It also has the same flaws, with the action being TV movie quality. (Also, while Terrance Hill has a charm to him, he was also nearly 70 years old when the movie was shot, so you can't expect a huge amount of stunt work out of the lead.) If you liked the first one, you will probably enjoy this film as well.

The Extras

Like the first film, there are no extras on this DVD.

The Verdict

Triggerman is a good film for those that like their Westerns a little on the old-fashion side with more heart and less edge. It rarely rises above its TV movie roots, but Terrance Hill helps. The DVD has no extras, so for most a rental will suffice.

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Filed under: Video Review, Doc West Returns