Movie Review Monday: Triple Frontier
Some weekends it can be difficult to get to the theater, but luckily, Netflix is consistently dropping new content. One of the newest features to hit the streaming platform is Triple Frontier, which was directed by A Most Violent Year’s J.C. Chandor. The film was written by Chandor and Mark Boal and follows a group of former special operations soldiers who reunite for a heist in South America. Oscar Isaac stars as Santiago “Pope” Garcia and Ben Affleck also stars as Tom “Redfly” Davis. The film also includes performances from Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, and Adria Arjona.
The film begins with William “Ironhead” Miller (Hunnam) addressing a group of young military personnel about their future plans and his experience following his time in the service. Meanwhile, Santiago “Pope” Garcia works as a private military adviser in Colombia combating drug crime. His recent bust in Colombia gets messy, and Garcia ends up receiving information from an informant about the location of drug crime lord, Lorea. Instead of turning the information over to the Colombian officers, Garcia returns to America to recruit the members of his former special forces team for the job. The five men travel to South America to work reconnaissance on the mission, and before long, they have all agreed to steal the drug lord’s money for themselves. However, once they ambush the house, the job becomes more complicated and more dangerous than they could have anticipated.
So, this is a Netflix release that I was somewhat looking forward to after watching the first trailer. This movie is the tense, heist film that I expected it to be, although it does contain some interesting insights and themes that I did not expect. The film contains a fantastic cast, and all of the five leading men give intense and convincing performances. Oscar Isaac obviously shines in the lead role, but I thought that Charlie Hunnam was particularly good and stood out among the group. While I would have loved for all of their characters to have been fleshed out more, I was completely invested in the lives and outcomes of each one of them. They personified the comradery that typically exists between those who have served in the armed forces together, and it made the unfolding events quite believable. The film does somewhat shift throughout from a heist film to a survival film, and this transition also makes it standout a bit from others in the genre.
While the story was well-conceived and delivered, it was the thoughtful themes and introspective characters that made it worth the watch. At its heart, the story begs the audience to consider how we leave our veterans physically and emotionally at the end of their service. The film also touches on questions about greed, morality, loyalty, and trust as these five characters interact with each other and push through their situation. A good story is supposed to chase its heroes up a tree, and this story certainly does end up pushing all five characters to their limits. It highlights the complicated motivations of each character, and I found that part of the story immensely intriguing.
Overall, I think Triple Frontier is one of the better Netflix originals that I have watched. It has a strong cast as its backbone and touches on quite a few intriguing themes. It is not lacking in tension filled moments and action sequences, and underneath all of the excitement are some thoughtful questions and commentary. Triple Frontier is a gritty, heist film that has deeper motivations propelling the story forward, and for that reason, I do think it’s worth a watch.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.