‘Triple Frontier’ review: A lost ‘Tom Clancy’s’ script

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Netflix’s latest original film “Triple Frontier,” while not perfect by any means, is a cut above much of the duds the company has put out before. Pictured is the main cast Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam, and Ben Affleck.

Washburn Review

Over the years of watching countless movies, two genres, when done well, will always entertain me, and those are bro-action movies (‘Predator’) and crime/heist films (Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’).

Netflix has always a near terrible track record with their original films, aside from “Roma,” and I’m happy to say that the latest iteration, J.C. Chandor’s “Triple Frontier,” is a mostly satisfying experience that is definitely one of the better films that has graced the subscription service.

Frontier is a military testosterone movie mixed with a heist film. A group of five former Special Forces operators, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal and Garrett Hedlund, plan to rob a violent cartel leader’s house of all of his money. What follows is a tense, tight-knit first two thirds, and a disappointingly sloppy final act. 

The strongest thing this film has going for it is absolutely the cast. I was invested in the main protagonists and every actor gives a phenomenal performance. Specifically Ben Affleck’s should be addressed. He plays a man in a directionless downward spiral, and there has to be some of his real emotion in there. This guy isn’t as perfect as the rest. He has a dad bod, drinking problems and one of the more compelling journeys of the group. 

The story is set up well. The audience is introduced to each character in a way that doesn’t waste time, and the movie starts building tension from there. The climax feels fresh and incredibly tense to boot. The problem is, after that, the movie just goes a downhill. It does so in a way that makes it easy to point out the flaws and especially inconsistencies.

One thing that especially shows the weakness of the third act is the characters. They are written to be skilled military veterans with a healthy amount of humanity, but in some ways it just falls apart. Much like a horror movie, characters seemingly go in one direction to make a terrible decision, and that happens several times, betraying what the characters were established to be.

In all honesty, I do not think I would have enjoyed this movie and been so lenient with it if it weren’t for the cast. It has to be one of the most stacked ensembles I have seen in a long time, and in terms of those performances, it most definitely delivers. However, it still has a weak final act that with all the build up, leaving the audience unsatisfied.

However, regardless of how it finished, I still had a lot of fun with “Triple Frontier.” The story was gripping and included a stellar cast. I recommend it to anyone with a Netflix account.