A modern-day action thriller for 2019 that is better than it appears to be. This Triple Frontier review is brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr T.
Director: J. C. Chandor
Review: Netflix is no stranger to producing action thrillers. Some of them like The Outsider (2018) and Bright (2017) have been outright silly. But with Triple Frontier, the streaming giant looks to break the mould and reinvent the genre. It follows the story of five army veterans who come together to kill and rob a south American drug lord. As expected, it’s not long before all hell breaks loose, and the characters are forced to deal with hostile conditions and unpleasant consequences.
The movie marks Oscar Isaac’s second collaboration with director J. C. Chandor after A Most Violent Year (2014). And this being a story about busting drugs on Netflix, Pedro Pascal is obviously also in it. The other main protagonists are played by Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Ben Affleck. Though the dialogues among the five actors could have done with a bit more polish, the camaraderie between them more makes up for it.
Director of photography Roman Vasyanov deserves special praise as he breathes life into the Columbian streets as well as the breath-taking sprawling landscapes. You feel as if you are in the sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America planning a heist. The soundtrack borrows heavily from Metallica and features classics like For Whom The Bell Tolls and Orion. Now I am a metalhead and have been critical of the band’s recent work after Death Magnetic, but it is good to see one of the pioneers of thrash metal reinvent themselves and score background music for films.
As I began watching the film, I thought it was going to be Suicide Squad minus the supervillains, but midway through Triple Frontier, I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t a film that is confined to a single genre. It starts off as a film on the drug war, then turns into a slick heist movie and in the end transforms into a survival thriller. It’s like watching Sicario (2015), Inside Man (2006) and The Ritual (2017) all at once. There aren’t any detailed and pointless backstories of its leads and that was a bold, but correct choice in my opinion. The recurring theme in the movie is that human greed is the underlying cause of most evils in the world. And the director subtly and successfully gets his point across.
It is ironic however, that the action in Triple Frontier is the weakest point of the movie. The end sequence where one side incurs heavy casualties and the other escapes almost unscathed was a bit ludicrous, even by action thriller standards. Ultimately, Triple Frontier subverts the expectations I had when I first looked at it, and hence this is now my go to recommendation, when anyone asks me which thriller to binge on the weekend.
Rating: My rating for Triple Frontier is 3.5/5.
Who should watch this: If you like slick survival thrillers and heist films, you will enjoy Triple Frontier. You should also check out Sicario (2015), Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), The Ritual (2017) and Inception (2010).