Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Movie Review: "Triple Frontier" (2019)

Director: J.C. Chandor
Year: 2019
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

A former special forces officer recruits members of his old unit to steal millions of dollars from the leader of a Brazilian drug cartel. Their combined skills may be enough to get the job done, but some unexpected complications could put their entire plan at risk.

Triple Frontier 2019 Netflix movie Oscar Isaac
"Do we finally get to use our skills for our own benefit and finally change something?" (Image Source)
Netflix really needs to step up its marketing game. With little promotion or fanfare behind it, suddenly, "Triple Frontier" (2019), a movie directed by J.C. Chandor, who has helmed films like "All is Lost" (2013) and "A Most Violent Year" (2014), a film that has the combined star-power of Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, and Garrett Hedlund, popped up one day on their service. BigJ didn't even know this movie existed, and we knew almost nothing about it beyond the Netflix title card summary. It is a heist adventure thriller about a former special forces soldier named Santiago 'Pope' Garcia (Oscar Isaac), who has been working in South America hunting down a drug lord named Lorea. Pope gets some intel that Lorea has been hiding in the jungles of Brazil with millions in cash in his safe house. Instead of going through the Brazilian law enforcement, which he's sure is corrupt anyway, Pope contacts the members of his old unit, men he's sure he can trust. He brings in his former C.O. Tom 'Redfly' Davis (Ben Affleck), fellow soldier Willian 'Ironhead' Miller (Charlie Hunnam), Ironhead's little brother and MMA fighter Ben Miller (Garrett Hedlund), and pilot Francisco 'Catfish' Morales (Pedro Pascal) to help him kill this druglord and steal his millions. Though all of the men are incredibly skilled and have a solid plan in place, they run into some complications that leave them struggling to get out of South America alive.
Triple Frontier 2019 Netflix movie Pedro Pascal Charlie Hunnam Garrett Hedlund Ben Affleck
"You cannot go back to your normal life after tonight." (Image Source)
You'd think that a movie with a subject matter and cast like this one, "Triple Frontier" (2019) would have been primo theatrical release material. Not so much. Luckily, thanks to Netflix, everyone with a subscription now gets the opportunity to watch it for free in the comfort of our own homes. The only question is, is this film worth the two+ hours you will spend watching it? For most of Netflix's original films catalog, the answer has been a staggering "no," but we think "Triple Frontier" (2019) is definitely worth the time investment. It's full of great performances, some shocking moments we didn't expect, a gritty trek through the jungles of South America, and an interesting ethical conundrum. While it does have its flaws, we remained enthralled and engaged enough that we never felt bored. We were mostly invested in the journey of these former soldiers-turned-thieves as they have to endure bad situation after worse condition to make it out of South America with their lives and their loot. There are many strong moments of tension and action that are separated by some lulls as the script delves into the internal moral conflict between the men, though we're sad to say that conflict never amounts to much other than leading Redfly, Pope, Ironhead, Ben, and Catfish to make grave mistakes. The pacing can be a bit slow at times, especially in the early portions of the film. Also, since this is a heist movie, some of the aspects of their "job" feel far too easy. As things begin to wrap up, it feels like the narrative was trying to lead to something that never came to fruition. Still, we cannot deny that we were on the edge of our seats more than once, and we always found ourselves anticipating what would come next.
Triple Frontier 2019 Netflix movie still Ben Affleck
"You've been shot five times for your country, and you can't even afford a new truck." (Image Source)
We believe J.C. Chandor was attempting to make "Triple Frontier" (2019) a much more grounded heist movie that avoids the over-the-top nature of most of your standard Hollywood films in this genre. If that's the case, we believe he succeeded. Still, trying to stay true to life isn't always the best course of action when it comes to entertainment value, but overall, it works here, and we think this film is worth checking out.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.5/10
RT Rating: ~71%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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