I’ll admit now that until reading a little bit about this movie just after watching it that I had no idea just how long they’ve been trying to make it, however I was a little worried when I saw it crop up on Netflix as with a cast of Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal and Garnett Hedlund it felt odd that it hadn’t received a much bigger release, and whilst I know Netflix has become a viable platform for movies with top catergory actors in them, I was worried that this would be almost like 2011’s Age of Heroes (although the cast in this is far, far better than the cast in that!)
Triple Frontier’s plot is fairly simple, our five guys are former US Special Forces who are all, in their own way, struggling to come to terms with their retirement from active duty. Oscar Isaac’s Santiago Garcia persuades them to help him recce a potential target that he has been “hired” to take out in a South American border area with a big payout at the end. The group ultimately decide to do the whole job themselves to get the large sums of money the target has stashed away. So far, so very “Hooah”. Hey, the opening moments even features cheesey, radio friendly soft rock from the likes of Credence Clearwater Revival and Fleetwood Mac (now I like The Chain as much as the next Formula 1 addict, but lets not pretend that certain moments of it aren’t used in rather cliche situations and Triple Frontier doesn’t buck that particular trend).
However, the heist and assassination is all done and dusted really early on in the film and what we’re left with is the groups attempt to get back home. This all goes predictably wrong with the team stumbling from one mistake to another. There’s lots of shouting, a few gunfights and one (unintentionally) funny moment featuring a mule and a mountain.
Now, Triple Frontier isn’t a bad movie, its just not an excellent one, its less than the sum of its parts as with that cast you’d expect more, factor in (which like I’ve already mentioned I found out afterwards) its production history and the people that have been involved with it at one time or another, and its difficult not to come away feeling a bit let down by it. This, for me, is because it doesn’t really know what it wants to be. It plays everything out seriously, with everything played straight. However, despite the situations that they find themselves in, you never feel like they’re struggling to get through, everything is dealt with in a composed almost muted manner. The initial raid on the targets complex sets this tone, but its the only time it really works, as they move from room to room in the fashion that they would have been trained to do. But later when shit hits the fan theres no panic. They’re too good at what they’re doing, which makes each and every situation utterly baffling.
With all of that though, Triple Frontier wasn’t a bad way to spend a couple of hours sat on the sofa, the cast all perform their roles well even if they were still “Poe” “Ben Affleck” “Pena from Narcos” etc, it just needed a little something extra, which considering how things pan out, I’d suggest a sense of humour.