[Movie Review] Mad Dog Time (Trigger Happy – UK)

Mad Dog TimeStarring: Jeff Goldblum, Gabriel Byrne, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Lane, Ellen Barkin, Burt Reynolds, Gregory Hines, Kyle MacLachlan, Diane Lane, Billy Drago, Richard Pryor
Director: Larry Bishop
Genre: Comedy
Cert: 15
Released: 1996

Mickey Holliday (Goldblum) is as cool as you like. He’s quick on the trigger, he’s a hit with the ladies and he’s got style coming out his ears. Unfortunately for him, he has been a hit with the wrong lady – his boss’ girl, Grace Everley (Diane Lane – “Knight Moves”). His gangster boss, Vic (Dreyfuss – “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Stakeout”, “Lost in Yonkers”) is getting out of prison (well, more specifically the nuthouse) in a couple of days and he is none too happy with the antics of Mickey. Pulling the strings in Vic’s absence is motormouth, Ben London (Byrne – “Millers Crossing”, “The Usual Suspects”) who tends to believe in his own abilities a little more than everyone else does. He warns Mickey of what is going to happen when Vic gets out.

But Mickey says that he is finished with Grace and is instead involved with her sister, Rita (Ellen Barkin – “Sea of Love”, “The Fan”). Mickey makes ready cash on the side by challenging other trigger-happy gangsters to a shoot-out normally arranged by his mentor, Jules Flamingo (Gregory Hines). Some of the other gunslingers looking to take over from Holliday include Lee Turner (former British rocker, Billy Idol) and Nicholas Falco (Christopher Jones). Fellow gnagsters Jake Parker (Kyle McLacLachlan) and Jacky Jackson (Burt Reynolds) are keen to eliminate Mickey in order to get closer to Vic’s empire.

“Trigger Happy” (aka “Mad Dog Time”) delivers a host of extravagant colourful characters and places them in tense and comic situations, sometimes simultaneously. Infact “Trigger Happy” is probably one of those films that could purport to be a jack of all trades and be a master of none. The jokes are at times, frankly, sad. For example, the snappy dialogue which includes the Vic, Mick (Mickey) and Nick (Nicholas Falco) names in quick succession and plays it as a ‘joke’ is very lacking. But on the other side there are some excellent one-liners from the witty Ben London.

Goldblum is very smooth here, Dreyfuss is his usual qualty self, Diane Lane and Ellen Barkin are very sexy. Enjoyable stuff for sure but not everyone’s cup of tea, I wouldn’t think.

2star

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