At seemingly every turn Triple Frontier passes the smell test of an action movie determined not to insult its audience’s intelligence.
There’s realistic consequences for choices, believable turn of events and well staged and tense action sequences. This is one of those films that validate getting that Netflix subscription.
For the last two years, Santiago aka Pope (Oscar Isaac, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) has been on the trail of the vicious drug lord Laredo (Reynaldo Gallegos, Logan). Thanks to his inside woman (Adria Arjona, 6 Underground), Santiago knows exactly how to take Laredo down and snatch the massive fortune he’s tucked away at his compound.
Neither is going to be easy so Santiago calls in his old military buddies Redfly (Ben Affleck, Justice League), Catfish (Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian) brothers Ironhead (Charlie Hunnam, King Arthur) and Ben (Garrett Hedlund, Tron Legacy). None of them are exactly living their best life and after some mild consideration they’re on board with this very off the books mission.
Director/co-screenwriter J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year) and co-screenwriter Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) aren’t under any pretenses and clearly state the unit’s actions are criminal, going against everything they’ve stood for as soldiers.
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While there’s no murky middle ground, Chandor and Boal do attempt to provide enough backstory for each of the five to explain their actions. This is much more than your standard vigilante soldier film where they break rules and codes of conduct under some weak sense of justice.
That’s a common theme with the script, which plays more realistic as Chandor and Boal aren’t bending over backwards narratively to portray the squad as heroes. It also allows for some better than expected conflicts as the five alternate who makes the questionable choice or reckless decision.
It helps that there’s not a weak link in the cast. Isaac, Affleck and Hunnam basically rotate the lead role. Affleck is in this interesting stage of his career where he’s able to infuse his characters with a certain world weariness.
Isaac exudes so much charisma that he lends an air of mystery to Santiago while Hunnam is at his big screen best with this performance.
The action scenes are well composed and set up with a clear perspective. Chandor uses some creative angles for some of the shots particularly the action shootout.
Triple Frontier offers some nice surprises and while it doesn’t end in the way you might expect it’s an entertaining action drama.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix