Boss Level Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Tough ex-Special Forces soldier Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) wakes up every day to be attacked by a frostbitten machete-wielding killer. After Roy has dealt with this killer, it will be the turn of the following: a machine gunner in a helicopter, a killer beauty in a car with a machine gun, huge black twins with bazookas, a midget with a bomb, a kawaii Japanese woman with a katana, a redneck with a harpoon and other beautiful people, and by hand one of them Roy will eventually die. To then wake up again in the same day.

Of course, Roy, who knows how events will develop further, can gradually learn to cope with the killers. But there are still too many of them, and Roy understands that he won’t be able to defeat all the scumbags like this “on the forehead”. After that, the next day he tries to contact his ex-wife Gemma (Naomi Watts), who is working on one very large project under the leadership of a certain Colonel Ventor (Mel Gibson), and Ventor himself informs Pulver that Gemma is dead.

Shortly before that day, Roy came to Gemma’s work – he brought his resume – and noticed that the ex-wife was very much preoccupied with something and behaved somewhat strangely. Gemma also insistently asked Roy to look at her birthday present, which she sent him, but he never opened it.

Having received a message that Gemma was dead, Roy understood in which direction he should look: Colonel Ventor was clearly involved in both Gemma’s death and the fact that they wanted to kill him.

***

To be honest, at first I didn’t want to watch this film, despite the fact that there are no new films now – one, two, and counted. But here the name scared away: well, what kind of madhouse is “Day of the trigger”? However, several people wrote to me that the movie is very, very cheerful and deserves to be watched, but do not pay attention to the title, because this is the creation of United Statesn localizers, and these guys quite often disfigure the original titles for some reason, instead of just making adequate translation.

See what movie. The director, Joe Carnahan, at one time released a good comic action movie “Team ‘A'” and a rather carbon black action movie “Trump Aces”. I didn’t really know the lead actor Frank Grillo – he seemed to flash in some very episodic roles in Patrol and in the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And then there were Mel Gibson and Naomi Watts.

Decided to look. And I didn’t regret it at all! The original name Boss Level translates as “Last Level” because it means the last, most difficult level in a computer game. The fact that a time loop occurs in the film, when the main character lives the same day again and again, and he is killed on that day, is stated at the very beginning of the film. And only then it becomes clear exactly how the United Statesn distributors wanted to pun – it is clear that they were hinting at “Groundhog Day”, but without the context of the film it is impossible to understand this, and out of context the name sounds completely stupid.

We know quite a few examples of films with a time loop. The United States “Mirror for a Hero”, the classic “Groundhog Day”, the science fiction “Source Code” and “Edge of Tomorrow”, the TV series “New Day”, the recent romantic comedy “Hang in Palm Springs”.

“Day of the trigger” and the name and what is happening on the screen resembles a video game. A kind of typical shooter that you watch from a third person. The antagonists always act in the same way, so the protagonist, step by step, gradually moves further in the game, discovering some new levels for himself. But at some point, he realizes that there are too many antagonists and everyone is well-armed, so he simply cannot go through them all in the allotted time.

And then he tries to look for exits to some other storylines, and from the moment he finds out that his wife is dead, and remembers where she worked and what, his search becomes more specific.

With the last level, of course, you will have to puff a lot, but that’s what the last level is for.

All this was filmed cheerfully, brutally and equipped with a fair amount of black humor, which made this picture reminiscent of the absolutely reckless film “Adrenaline”. However, the line with his wife somewhat weakened the dynamics of the narrative, but the director and screenwriters had to mold at least some kind of plot so that it still wasn’t a pure adaptation of a computer game, so they put both a deneuralizer and a chrono-synclastic infundibulum.

However, of course, they didn’t bother much with the logic of the plot – after all, an action movie – so the explanations were given in a big grind, and indeed, why do we need detailed explanations, if everything went well with Nolan with Argument, and there with action is much worse than here.

Here, everything is cool! At first, the drive is such that you can’t breathe. Then, as I said, they relaxed a little on their wife (the phrase turned out to be terrible, but I won’t correct it out of principle), but the line with the boy, the son of Roy and Gemma, turned out to be quite touching. By the way, the son of Roy Joe was played by the son of Frank Grillo and his ex-wife, actress Wendy Moniz, Rio Grillo. And he played really well.

Frank Grillo in this film is in brilliant physical shape and very cheerfully dies over two hundred times. But the main character, in my opinion, is not very drawn – there is still not enough charisma. If you recall the “Adrenaline” – I imagined how Statham would play this role, and it would obviously be better with him. Grillo – he has the level “Close friend of the protagonist”, well, maybe “The main enemy of the protagonist”. But here’s the main character himself – with a stretch. However, the reasons for the filmmakers are understandable: the budget for an action movie with so many cool scenes is quite small, they would not pull a star like Jason Statham or Hugh Jackman, and Grillo probably cost inexpensively, and here, in general, at least quite good. Not impressed, but not too disappointed either.

Mel Gibson didn’t really have much to play here, but at least once he came to the fore with a story about a wild boar and a twenty-meter Burmese python – it was very impressive.

There is almost nothing to say about Naomi Watts: her script character was completely muddy and the actress herself didn’t really know how to play this character at all. In theory, she was supposed to experience obvious horror in front of the sinister Colonel Ventor, but somehow the actress did not demonstrate anything so special. The expression on her face in a particularly tense scene was from the series: “It seems that in the evening I will have to go to school, Mrs. Jekyll wrote again that Joe was playing around and fencing with sticks.”

Ken Jeong was quite funny as the bartender, and Sean McKinney did a good job of playing the garrulous security man at the bar. Well, there was a very nice episode with Matilda Ollivier in a bar, where Roy was glued to a blonde dentist and he suddenly had some kind of “chemistry” with a pretty barmaid, which Matilda played, but, let’s be honest, a purely scripted episode from the film a few fell out and obviously one of the writers or the director himself, who also worked on the script, it was purely personal.

What is the result? A quite worthy action movie that never shamed either the time loop or its obviously game beginning (especially since eight-bit games were a separate exciting topic there, where I immediately remembered the cool movie “Pixels”; also see how the name Boss Level is made on the cover of the movie). Yes, and the protagonist succeeded in “robbing cows” here, because that same upper level – he figured out this “cow” – hoo, how he figured it out. Since the fiftieth time, but who, in fact, is counting?!!

PS Experts suggest that instead of a Japanese woman with a katana there was a Chinese woman with a jian, so I used the adjective “kawaii” in this context in vain, but since I have no idea what the adjective “kawaii” means, I’m forgiven. However, if you think that this offends your mind, then it’s good – it was a loaf Chinese woman with a jian, kawai in her drawbar, choose who you want!

Trigger Day / Boss Level movie review

Director: Joe Carnahan Cast: Frank Grillo, Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Rio Grillo, Ken Jeong, Sean McKinney, Annabelle Wallis, Michelle Yeoh, Will Sasso, Selina Lo, Mathilde Ollivier

Budget: $45 million

Black humor thriller, USA, 2019, 100 min.

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