By Dave B.
In Triple Frontier (Netflix) a squad of former U.S Army Rangers hatches a risky plan: steal tens of millions of dollars from a Brazilian drug lord and execute him to break his harmful hold on the Triple Frontier, a largely lawless region of South America. From jump, things don’t go according to plan. As small errors grow into larger ones, the battle-hardened, but slightly over-the-hill group of ex-soldiers find their former oaths tested and their personal honor broken as they try to move millions of dollars over the Andes mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Triple Frontier has many of the ingredients to be a classic film, starting off with a stellar cast. I’m a big fan of Charlie Hunnam and his performance is top-notch. The rest of the cast (and especially Oscar Isaac and Adria Arjona) are strong as well, making it easy to want to buy into the film’s far-fetched premise. The action scenes in the movie are fairly infrequent and not particularly spectacular, but they’re filled with a quiet intensity that make them captivating.
Unfortunately, Triple Frontier’s script is a bit of a mess. This is mostly due to the fact that the film isn’t clear on what it wants to be. It abruptly transforms from a relatively effective morality tale about the dangers of greed, into a much less effective morality tale about the value of life. During the final 20-30 minutes of the movie, I found myself growing increasingly enraged as the band of friends makes one foolish decision after another, breaking with their behaviors during the previous three-quarters of the film, with little that happens to make the changes feel organic or realistic. That, combined with the mostly shallow character development, makes the 125 minute movie feel as long as it is and that’s not a good thing, in this case.
I don’t dislike Triple Frontier. It’s more accurate to say that it manages to be both captivating and extremely disappointing, simultaneously. It’s interesting when it sticks to being a simple heist movie and a basic morality tale. But it’s narrative gradually falls apart, making the movie nearly unwatchable near the end. I’m reluctantly recommending Triple Frontier because of its strong performances and its legitimately good first half, but by no means do I suggest that anyone should go out of their way to watch this film. It doesn’t remain true to itself, so for many viewers, there’s probably a limit to how much of themselves they’ll be willing to give to it.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.