Movie Review – Triple Frontier

TL;DR – While it has all the components for a good film, it feels like it is spending more of its time imitating than driving its own course.     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Triple Frontier. Image Credit: Netflix.


This is an interesting time for the action films, there are spaces where it is showing brand new filmmaking techniques, films that build tension as I have never seen, or simply shots where you go, how did they get that? Unfortunately, today I am not looking at a film like that, because today we review one of the most paint-by-numbers films I have seen in a very long time.   

So the set the scene, we open in Colombia where Pope (Oscar Isaac) works as an ‘independent observer’ helping the local police take down one of the local drug cartels. While there he becomes friendly with a local informant Yovanna (Adria Arjona) who lets him know how to get to Gabriel Martin Lorez (Reynaldo Gallegos) the local big bad. This is not a mission that he can pull off alone, nor does he want to involve the locals because they might tip his hand. So instead, he goes back to the States to recruit his old military Special Forces team. Redfly (Ben Affleck) now sells condos … badly and can barely keep his head above water after the divorce, Ironhead (Charlie Hunnam) spends all his time giving talks to military trainees, and his brother Ben (Garrett Hedlund) is now an MMA fighter, and Catfish (Pedro Pascal) can no longer fly planes after an incident. Together they go down to provide expert reconnaissance, and maybe a bit more than just that.    

Triple Frontier. Image Credit: Netflix.
There is a good cast here. Image Credit: Netflix.

Now well, I am going to be a bit negative or at least a bit meh about this film, it doesn’t mean that it is all a mess. Most of this film is shot on location and that does give the film a texture that you just don’t often see. As well as this, the whole first action sequence was really well constructed slowly building up to that moment the first gunshot ricochets out into the day. There is a strong cast here and props to the person who finally went that Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund could be brothers and they also did a good job of making these guys feel like old friends. Now while I did feel a little disappointed, overall at least most of this film is competently constructed so it has at least that going for it.

Where the film does quite come together is in the story that just feels like it lost something in the translation from page to screen. Everything about the start of the film is showing us that while they are old and we can see it, they are competent professionals that know what they are doing. Which means that there is a disconnect because everything goes wrong because they are not acting like professionals. Now I get that they were making it out that greed makes even the strongest people fall, and that seems to be the message they were going with, but it is really poorly presented. As well as this, it feels out of character that they would be in a house with holes in the wall and not expect to be caught out with an ambush. To add with this, I am sure they meant for Ben Affleck’s character to come off as tired but he feels less tired and more board and it really shows. This combined with wild shifts in tone and demeanour makes it feel like they didn’t know what to do with his character and this also flows into some of the other key players in the team.  

Triple Frontier. Image Credit: Netflix.
They unfortunately don’t seem to know what to do with Ben Affleck’s character. Image Credit: Netflix.

At times it really does feel like the film is holding back when it really shouldn’t. Take at the start when Ben is introduced as this MMA fighter. There is the whole long scene as we get closer and closer to the fight, we see the potential outcome, and at the first punch, we cut to the next scene. It also does not help, that this feels less like a film clearing its own path through the jungle, and more like one that is following, down to the letter, the path of those who have come before. Every aspect of the film feels like this, you have the old guys going for one last stand, fights over the money, everything going wrong and now they are hiking through the jungle, etc. One clear inspiration that they were taking notes from is Sicario. You feel it in the story, you feel it in the action, you feel it in the tone they were going for, and hell you can even hear it in the musical score. This along with everything else I mentioned lead to me really not caring at all that much about the characters by the end, which is never a good sign.

In the end, do we recommend Triple Frontier? Well look we really feel it is a bit meh. It is a film that is competently made so you are not really seeing a bad film per se, but then it is also an uninspired film, so you won’t see anything that goes above mediocre for most of its run time. You know, maybe it is just unlucky that this came out in the same week as Hotel Mumbai, but even without that, I don’t think I would have had a more positive outlook on it. It felt like there was a lot of potential here, but somewhere along the way it got lost and we ended up with its shadow instead.     

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Triple Frontier?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Triple Frontier
Directed by
– J. C. Chandor
Story by – Mark Boal
Screenplay by – Mark Boal & J. C. Chandor
Music by – Disasterpeace
Cinematography by – Roman Vasyanov
Edited by – Ron Patane
Production/Distribution Companies – Atlas Entertainment & Netflix
– Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, Adria Arjona, Hakeemshady Mohamed, Reynaldo Gallegos, Sheila Vand & Madeline Wary         
Rating – Australia: Adult; United States: R

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