Director: J.C. Chandor
Release Date: In theaters March 6, 2019. On Netflix March 13th
Netflix’s latest original film Triple Frontier features some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Whether it is Ben Affleck as Batman, Oscar Issac fighting the dark side of the force or Charlie Hunnam as part of TV’s most popular biker gang, chances are if you’ve turned on the TV in the last five years you’ve seen one of these guys doing some wild shit.
The three lead a team of retired Special Forces operatives on a mission to take down a leader of a drug cartel and steal his money in the process. It’s heist with some moral justification for the former US soldiers. This isn’t your typical military shootout story. The team is operating outside of the confines of the law with the justification being that they have given their best years to this country and have nothing to show for it. So if they can get paid while taking out a powerful drug lord in the process, why not, right?
Opening with Charlie Hunnam giving a motivational speech to a group of active military members about what makes them warriors sets the tone. Shortly after we cut to Oscar Issac in a helicopter about to make a raid on some bad guys with Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls blasting in his ear buds as he prepares for a shootout. Director J.C. Chandor, is very aware of what kind of film Triple Frontier is trying to be and plays right into that by giving the audience exactly what they want in the first ten minutes. You can just hear the U.S.A chants in your head.
The first half moves quickly. Oscar Issac is the mastermind behind the whole operation. He’s able to convince the band to get back together for one last ride in what feels like less than 24 hours. We’re quickly in the South American jungle scooping out El Chopo’s (names don’t matter in this film so I used a real one) hidden compound for weak points on where to attack. The actors, particularity Ben Affleck, do their best to convince us that there’s some inner conflict on whether or not to participate in the heist but we all know those dudes have itchy trigger fingers and empty bank accounts.
The heist initially plays out like a Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare stealth mission. They’re precise with the execution as they swiftly lay waste to under qualified security guards on their way to the biggest payday of their lives. The trailer leads you to believe that the film is about this giant heist but they get their money in about 45 minutes. Real conflict arises after they’ve taken the money. Greed sets in and they end up taking more money then they can handle money. What ends up being $250 million in cash becomes a logistical nightmare to haul across the continent as they’re chased by all of the people they’ve pissed off along the way.
Now they must fly, ride donkeys, and carry bags of money while trying not to get their heads blown off.
Triple Frontier is by no means a good movie. It’s full of fake high-minded morality stances and enough one-liners about being warriors to send the douche chills down your spine. Netflix is targeting a specific and sizable market with this film. Everyone had that one friend growing up whose dad was hell bent on getting you to watch Black Hawk Down and Act of Valor with him. That group of red-blooded, middle-aged, gun-loving Americans now has another go-to lined up in their Netflix queue forever.
Thanks a lot, Ben Affleck.