Netflix Crime Action Thriller Gives Jessica Alba A Commando Role

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Updated

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Perhaps the most challenging film of her career, Trigger Warning offers Jessica Alba the opportunity she has long sought, to be seen as more than just a pretty face. Due to release on Netflix on June 21, this film is destined to either crash and burn or showcase spectacular talents Alba has been heretofore unable to display. 

Her First Explicitly Action Role

So far, we’ve seen Jessica Alba in largely those roles which she has been afraid to be typecast in — think of her work in Sin City, Honey, Good Luck Chuck, and Into the Blue. She is rarely cast as the intellectual, and when she is in action roles, she’s still the hot fighter, a la Lara Croft.

Her Dark Angel days won her accolades for female empowerment, as she used her body (as a fighter) to help people. Trigger Warning will be her first role that is explicitly and exclusively an action figure. 

Her Father’s Death

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Though we don’t know much about the film yet, Trigger Warning, from the trailer, looks to be about a woman, Parker, who is an active-duty Special Forces officer, returning home to her small town to take over her father’s bar after he’s killed.

Immediately, she starts questioning the cause of her father’s death, suspecting foul play. She finds herself at odds with all of the powerful people in and out of town, including her state’s senator, played by Anthony Michael Hall, who just loves to play bad guys these days. 

No Sign Of Romance

The trailer for Trigger Warning shows Alba’s Parker kicking ass and taking names, pulling big stunts over fiery landscapes, and taking a hard line when questioning those she believes are involved with the death of her father.

There does not seem to be a love story in sight, and if we see a sexy side of Alba, it’s only that natural sex appeal we see in every fully grown woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go get it. 

A Long Awaited Return

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After a long time away from the screen, it will be refreshing to see Alba coming back and taking on serious roles that fulfill her desire to be viewed as an actress, not just arm candy.

She certainly showed a proclivity for depth in even her lightest roles, but these transitions can be hard, and without good direction and writing, they can fail in epic ways. If Trigger Warning falls flat, Alba may not get another chance to rise through the ranks of great actors. She may not want one.

Rights Controversy

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Trigger Warning was originally a short story written by a singer and writer named Otep Shamaya, called “Older Woman.” Netflix, as of date of publication, has not given credit to Shamaya for her original work.

It appears as though Shamaya was adapting the story for film with a friend, who took the project to Netflix and Thunder Road, who bought the rights, leaving Shamaya completely in the dark. 

The final product is directed by Mouly Surya, in her first English language feature, and the screenplay was written by John Brancato, Josh Olson, and Halley Gross.

It is anyone’s guess whether Trigger Warning will be the hit it could be, whether Netflix and Thunder Road will give Shamaya credit, and whether Alba will earn her way into the Hollywood elite. Here’s hoping for success on all accounts.