Back in April, we took a look at the first two Andy Sidaris “Triple B” series films (Malibu Express and Hard Ticket to Hawaii). While Sidaris’ films are not “good” in a traditional sense, they are usually incredibly entertaining B-movie action flicks. Both films entertained the heck out of me (with Hard Ticket to Hawaii being an absolute B-movie classic) and when Mill Creek announced that they were putting the third and fourth movies in the series out on Blu-ray in July (two more are coming in September as well), I of course jumped at the chance. Picasso Trigger isn’t quite as notable for being a hilariously bad B-movie as its predecessors (especially Hard Ticket to Hawaii), but in my opinion it is nearly as “good bad” as those films. It doesn’t have the classic moments that Hard Ticket to Hawaii has (there’s no doll/bazooka scene here), but it is consistently hilarious to riff on. I can officially count myself a fan of Sidaris’ work now as I have loved all three of his first films. Of the three films, I would rank Picasso Trigger just a shade below Hard Ticket to Hawaii and a tick above Malibu Express.
Note: This review and the rating Picasso Trigger was given are based on it being a B-movie and not what it would deserve if it was being reviewed as a “serious” film. If you aren’t into B-movies, you can safely skip this film as it is a pretty bad movie that is only worth watching because it’s so bad it’s good. If Picasso Trigger was being reviewed for its quality (not its unintentional hilarity), it would have received a 2/5 at best. If you are into B-movies though, it is almost certainly worth a watch and warrants a much higher rating than that.
Picasso Trigger is pretty much a direct sequel to Hard Ticket to Hawaii, starring our favorite blonde bombshell agents Donna and Taryn as well as other characters and locations from both of the previous two films (even the Malibu Express and the “thinking jacuzzi” show up yet again). The plot revolves around crime lord Salazar and his gang of followers attempting to eliminate L.E.T.H.A.L. team agents. Donna, Taryn, two more Abilenes (Steve Bond’s Travis and older agent L.G.), several minor characters from previous films, and a few new characters are among the targets. After assassination attempts on L.G., Donna, and Taryn fail, the L.E.T.H.A.L. team comes together in Las Vegas with a plan to take out Salazar and all of his cronies on Sunday before they can do the same to them. However, in Andy Sidaris films the plot really doesn’t matter and half of the time it makes no or little sense in the first place. The real point of his films is “bullets, bombs, and babes.” Picasso Trigger does make a lot more sense than the first two films in this series (and it’s better made as well) but there are still plenty of bizarre things to make fun of as well.
For B-movies I don’t judge a film by its plot, acting, or anything else a normal review would consider. With B-movies, bad acting or a plot that makes no sense can be an advantage as it often leads to more unintentional comedy. Good B-movies only really need to do two things, entertain you and make you laugh at the sheer banality of what is happening on screen. In both cases, Picasso Trigger succeeds. With more villains to kill, there is more action, ridiculous death scenes, and impractical weapons in Picasso Trigger than either of the two prior Sidaris films. There’s an action scene for everyone including a hilarious speedboat chase where both sides shoot even worse than stormtroopers on their first day of training (what’s a Sidaris film without an Abilene that can’t shoot fish in a barrel?), motorcycles driving through walls, a Vegas show that turns into a shootout, and more explosions than any film really needs.
Picasso Trigger also shines when it comes to riffable moments. As I wrote earlier, it doesn’t have the all-time classic scenes that Hard Ticket to Hawaii has (I will never forget that one famous scene in particular) but it still has a lot of unintentionally funny moments. As usual these agents are nowhere near the best or brightest and I have no idea how any of them became secret agents in the first place. “That chopper’s got a bazooka!” Let’s just stop our car and let them shoot a non-moving target then, what a phenomenal idea. A few minutes later, Donna and Taryn (who almost got killed because of their discovery of a remote control airplane in the previous film) see another RC plane flying around their boat. Instead of immediately being suspicious, they just call it “cute” until it blows up their boat. “I think somebody’s trying to kill us!” Really? How in the world did you come to that conclusion?
I would actually say that Picasso Trigger has more than Hard Ticket to Hawaii to riff on (I had something to poke fun at almost non-stop) but it doesn’t have anything that you’ll always remember. Funny moments include the overly dramatic THURSDAY/FRIDAY/SATURDAY/SUNDAY full-screen captions and the quote “It looks like the bullet just grazed her head.” I’m not a doctor but it sure looked like she took a bullet right to the head to me and for them to just walk it off as nothing serious is quite hilarious. However, the most “classic” moments of the film come from the gadgets “Q” (I mean “The Professor”) comes up with. His M.O. is that anything can work as a weapon if you strap mini TNT onto it. This includes a boomerang, an item well-known for returning to its thrower, which could easily cause you to explode instead of your target unless you get the timing exactly right. While I won’t spoil what it is, he also comes up with what may be the least practical but somehow surprisingly effective gun in the entire history of film. This is the part that comes closest to Hard Ticket to Hawaii‘s infamous scene but I don’t think I laughed quite as hard at it.
As usual with this Andy Sidaris “Triple B” series there is plenty of nudity to go around. There are a lot of beautiful women in this film, most notably new addition Pantera, and as usual most of them get naked on at least one occasion. In this area though, this film is more of a Hard Ticket to Hawaii than Malibu Express where there is enough nudity to satisfy those looking for it but not so much that it becomes distracting and hurts the film (Malibu Express did suffer a bit from this). At least they don’t show off their boobs at the drop of a hat like in the first film in the series, the nudity in this and Hard Ticket to Hawaii at least makes some sense. If you like nudity in your films, you won’t be disappointed; there’s just more to this film than boobs.
I must say that by Picasso Trigger, Andy Sidaris was actually becoming a decent filmmaker. Not a good filmmaker mind you, but a passable one that actually had some good ideas at times. Hard Ticket to Hawaii was shot on location in Hawaii and had some very nice looking scenery. Picasso Trigger appears to have added some location shoots in Paris and Las Vegas as well as plenty of Hawaiian beaches as well. Again, this is a pretty well-shot film with plenty of great scenery to go with the beautiful women and action sequences. While characters will still sometimes make incredibly dumb or obvious statements, this film also makes a lot more sense than the first two movies in the series. There’s an actual plot here that more or less makes sense. It’s a pretty basic plot of course, and one that seems to take a lot of liberties from Bond films, but it’s one that won’t make you scratch your head as to what is happening on screen.
Like the previous two Andy Sidaris Blu-ray film releases, Mill Creek has given Picasso Trigger a “4K widescreen restoration.” The video quality overall looks pretty good on Blu-ray but I did notice a few strange issues at times. Most notably, some ugly yellow streaks (that almost look like somebody peed on the footage) appear in one short early scene. That wouldn’t be so bad but this happens again in another few scenes much later on in the film. Thankfully, these scenes are all pretty short but it is very noticeable even for a novice videophile like me. Otherwise, the film mostly looks solid though unspectacular on Blu-ray. Like Hard Ticket to Hawaii, there are enough good looking scenes in this film (mostly the Hawaiian scenery) to warrant an upgrade to Blu-ray if you are a fan of the film.
The extras for Picasso Trigger should seem very familiar if you read my reviews of the first two films in this series. Like those movies, the special features include a short introduction from Andy Sidaris, an audio commentary, trailers, and most importantly a lengthy behind the scenes featurette. As usual, the featurette is the most interesting inclusion and it’s pretty much on par with the ones on the other two sets. In addition to those extras, Picasso Trigger also comes with a digital redemption code for Mill Creek Entertainment’s new streaming service movieSPREE, which appears to be much improved from their previous streaming efforts.
Ultimately, despite the lack of fanfare Picasso Trigger has received as a follow-up to B-movie classic Hard Ticket to Hawaii, I enjoyed it almost as much. It doesn’t have anything as memorable as the infamous scene its predecessor had but it’s consistently entertaining to watch and funny to riff on. Overall, Picasso Trigger comes in at just a hair below Hard Ticket to Hawaii in my rankings. Considering that film is one of my all-time favorite B-movies, Picasso Trigger is absolutely worth a watch for all viewers that enjoy riffing on B-movies. Recommended.
Picasso Trigger and Savage Beach will be released on Blu-ray on July 9, 2019.
We would like to thank Mill Creek Entertainment for the review copy of Picasso Trigger used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.