“Triple Frontier” stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal. Released in theaters on March 6, 2019, followed by a Netflix release on March 13, 2019, the film has a group of military veterans fighting for survival after they rob a South American drug lord.
The film is directed by J. C. Chandor, who also directed “Margin Call”, “All is Lost”, and “A Most Violent Year”. We’re officially getting close to Spring, ladies and gentlemen, so let’s celebrate by looking at another Netflix film. So, long story short about this one, I saw the trailer for it and I immediately became interested. One of the reasons why is the cast. You got the likes of Ben Affleck, who officially hanged up his Batman persona for good, and Oscar Isaac, who’s still gaining popularity from his role in the recent Star Wars films. Another reason is the concept because again, I’m the type of guy who’s always in a mood for a good old-fashioned action thriller…especially the ones that deal with heists and survival. Seriously, how could I say no to something like this? That’s literally the question I asked myself before I started watching this film. All I can say about it is this: do not expect this to be an overblown action shoot-em-up.
The first thing I would like to talk about is the story. You got a bunch of former special ops soldiers reuniting to steal some money from a drug lord, and then they do whatever they can to make it out alive. This is one of those films that use more than just flashy gun violence to provide some intense thrills, and while there were some tension-filled moments that were nicely helmed by Chandor, it struggled to keep that tension consistent as well as making the plot as engaging as the concept. Part of that is due to how it handled the characters. Despite some solid work from the cast, including Affleck and Isaac as Tom and Santiago respectively, the film’s screenplay failed to give the characters enough depth to make me feel connected to them. The actors’ attempt to make them likable didn't really help that much either. There were plenty of films like this that have characters that were fun to watch, whether they’re bantering with one another or spraying bullets. This one has characters that made me leave the party earlier than expected. As for the action sequences, I can at least appreciate the fact that Chandor knew how to envision the action without the quick close-up shots and the shaky camerawork. Remember when I told you not to expect it to be an action shoot-em-up? Good, because the film relies a bit heavily on dialogue rather than have people shoot each other every couple of minutes or so. I also thought the ending could’ve been portrayed better. It’s bad enough that it had a story that rarely ups the intensity, but having a closure that lacked the emotional connection? Oh man…
Overall, “Triple Frontier” is well-intentioned and has a respectable vision by Chandor, but when it comes to its execution, it wasn’t able to shoot its way out of the danger zone. Despite a talented cast and some well-shot action sequences, the film’s plot wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be and the characters were too thinly written to make themselves amiable. It wasn’t as bad as some of the other Netflix films I’ve seen last year, but based on how it was marketed, it left me with a disappointing look on my face. If you’re still interested in seeing it regardless, it’s available to watch on Netflix.