TRIPLE FRONTIER is a movie that would’ve killed it in theaters in the mid 90s, it probably would’ve been a Jerry Bruckheimer production, and Nicolas Cage, Sylvester Stallong, Arnold Swarzenegger, Jean Clean Van Damme, and (insert any name I forgot here) probably would’ve been on the team. However, it is now a Netflix film, a pretty solid one at that, and it stars our generation of actors with the likes of Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garret Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal. This movie has been in the making since 2010, since a bunch of stars names have come and gone when production kept getting delayed and delayed. But now it’s here, and instead of risking itself to be lost in the crowd of countless unoriginal remakes, sequels, and superhero films, Netflix has decided to drop it on their platform, and I think that will be the best decision the filmmakers ever had.
When it comes to Netflix, their television productions I have always found 80/20 solid, but with their original films, I’ve always felt the exact opposite. Other than Roma, Mudbound, and maybe Pumpkin and When We First Met, name me another solid Netflix film. Go head. We’ve gotten clunkers like Mute and The Cloverfield Paradox, and countless others I haven’t even tried because the reviews on them have been mediocre to worse. Thankfully Triple Frontier is a step in the right direction. With more films like this, Netflix has a chance to really one up the ‘Spielbergs’ of the world and prove that their platform is not something to mess with. Countless people could stay at home and be able to enjoy a movie in the comfort of their own home without having to deal with the idiot nimrods that talk, text, and do other annoying shit in theaters. While Triple Frontier would be just as enjoyable in a theater, I loved that I got to watch it on release at home with a big TV and decent sound system. But that’s probably a debate that won’t be settled anytime soon so let’s get to the actual movie.
While Triple Frontier is referring to the tri-border area along the junction of Brazil, Argentina and Paraquay, where the Iguazu and Parana rivers meet, the movie is about 5 men retired from the military that go find a drug lord there, steal his money in a heist type scenario, kill just him with no other casualties, and make it out alive. Needless to say I don’t need to say much more in terms of plot, other than their plan obviously doesn’t go that smoothly. I found the movie to be quite unpredictable, namely who ends up dying or surviving and possible betrayals, but every step of the way the movie went in another direction, and I appreciated the journey into the unknown and unseen. I guess you could call this an action movie, but there is only action where it needs to be, spread out appropriately and not every two minutes like a Michael Bay film for the sake of extending screen time or providing the audience with eye popping cool CGI bukake.
The acting is all there, with everyone bringing everything to the table, with Affleck even looking like he was wanting to be there, his first sign of a heartbeat since he honestly tried his best in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. And at this point I’m pretty sure Oscar Isaac can act in anything that he God damn wants to. He is very versatile. The movie has a solid two hour run time, very entertaining, and like I said earlier, unpredictable. You feel for these characters as they are trying to get out of a hot zone, and every step that they make you either wince or yell in triumph. The movie is also very nice to look at, since they shot on actual locations and I couldn’t detect one screen screen shot in the entire run time. The movie is nicely directed by J.C. Chandor, whose other three films, Margin Call, A Most Violent Year, and All Is Lost, are all pretty solid themselves.
Your enjoyment and viewing experience might depend on how you watch this film. Definitely don’t watch it on a phone or really small television. Those theatrical enthusiasts could probably argue that this movie is best seen in a theater, and while I would agree with them, I think if you have a decent sized television and a half way decent sound coming out of it, you will probably find it as enjoyable as I did. Triple Frontier is a good old fashioned action/thriller that is better than average due to its unpredictability and realistic storytelling choices. What more do you want? An even better question, why can’t we get more stuff like this?