TRIPLE FRONTIER REVIEW
Starring: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, and Charlie Hunnam
Directed By: J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year)
Runtime: 2 hours 5 minutes
The latest movie starring Ben Affleck is straight to Netflix.It centers around a group of five retired soldiers who get back together for one final heist.Venturing into the home of a Central American drug kingpin and robbing him of millions.I don’t want to reveal much more than that.Let me rephrase that, I want to tell you what this movie does, because the movie isn’t necessarily about this heist.But I don’t want to spoil anything.Although, sometimes a spoiler can be a warning.The heist is the center of the movie, but it really what the movie is about.
I thought we were going to get a movie about a guy who needs to assemble a crew and pull off one last job.That’s the way the first 30 minutes play out.I thought since this was a straight to Netflix movie that it was going to be fairly straightforward.Fairly trashy.This is, after all, the modern day “straight to video”. There’s still a little stigma with me when it comes to Netflix.I always say, “well if it was any good, they’d put it in theaters and make money off it”.That’s necessarily true.But still a connotation that Netflix is fighting.
We breeze through the “assemble the crew” portion of the film.It’s just Oscar Isaac (Star Wars Episode 7-9 trilogy) and his old Army buddies doing a job.Then we get to the job and the movie changes.It becomes something else entirely.It isn’t the “pulling a heist” movie I thought it would be.While I was watching it in the moment, I appreciated that it went a different direction.But after thinking about it, I decided that I ultimately wanted the fast paced, shoot em up, heist thriller that Triple Frontier failed to give me.
The acting is good enough,you can tell who is trying hard and who is phoning it in. Ladies…Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy is in this, Ben Affleck and his paunch belly show up.Oscar Isaac is formidable as the ring leader of this wild crew.I had a guy on Twitter tell me it’s always fun to watch Charlie Hunnam in things because he is from England.But rarely acts with the accent, so you can occasionally hear him fight that accent off.
The movie is well made, beautifully shot.Great Central American locations, jungles, mountains, fields.
I guess I had two problems with this movie.It never gave me a reason to care about these characters other than the fact that they are soldiers.I got to see so little of these men before the heist began that it was rather one dimensional.And secondly, after the heist, the aftermath is kind of boring.I wanted a little more excitement even if it meant making a movie that wasn’t real to life in any way shape or form.Give me some explosions, a car chase, a twist, SOMETHING!
Triple Frontier has meaningful things to say about servicemen and women in their civilian post-combat lives, but if that’s they route you wanted to go, fine.Commit to it.Don’t try and straddle the fence between cool heist movie and emotional drama.So many times we see a movie’s failure to pick a direction and stick with it being a fatal flaw.Triple Frontier is no exception.It ends up failing to excite us with its action, and fails to move us with its characters.I applaud the effort, but the execution is severely lacking.
On a scale of 'See It/Stream It/Skip It', I'd vote Skip It. It just doesn't do anything well enough to recommend.
If you liked The Lost City of Z, A Most Violent Year, and Live By Night you might like Triple Frontier
2 out of 5 stars