Four former Special Ops commandos – played by Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal – are brought back from their regular, everyday lives by Oscar Isaac’s Garcia, the last of their squad still in active duty. Their mission: to take out a South American drug lord, hiding in his jungle fortress. The thing is, it’s not exactly legal, and there’s a lot of cash hidden somewhere in the building that could prove all too tempting for five hard done by mercenaries. As you might expect, the whole operation doesn’t exactly go to plan, forcing them to think on their feet as they fight to survive, taking them up mountains and down to beaches, with trouble never too far behind.
- What a cast, I mean, come on: Affleck and Isaac would be interesting enough, but the added value of Hunnam, Hedlund and Pascal could prove all too intriguing for the casual Netflix user on the hunt for a decent-looking action film on a Friday night. And they’re all pretty good – though I still never know where I stand with Hunnam’s American accent, but that might just be me – with Isaac arguably the stand-out (as he so often is, whether you’re watching one of the latest Star Wars films, Inside Llewyn Davis, Ex Machina, A Most Violent Year… the list goes on and on).
- This is a well-shot, grown-up action movie, directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost), with a couple of things to say and a budget to say them with. It takes you to gorgeous locations and puts its characters in dramatic, difficult, dangerous situations. What is isn’t is a shlocky Jason Statham action movie, all bullet ballet and swishy camerawork. This is about increasingly complicated ethical conundrums that come about when a precarious military operation doesn’t go to plan. If you’d rather watch a Fast And The Furious movie, there’s always, you know, a Fast And The Furious movie.
- The actual heist is a really enjoyable sequence, and the tension is maintained admirably after the film’s key blow-out moment. For a while, at least. I’d have liked more actual action, but what there is works well enough.
- The general feeling you’re left with after watching this film is… “That was alright, I guess?” The movie is uneven, unfocussed, and its opening 25 minutes don’t quite matter enough come the finale to warrant their duration. That isn’t to say it’s not worth watching, but if you’d paid to see it in a cinema, you’d feel pretty short-changed.
- Triple Frontier doesn’t seem to know how to end, so it just… ends. And that’s that. After all the stress and anxiety and violence they’ve endured, you want a more satisfying conclusion, or a real conclusion at all, and instead you’re left with a group of stubbly muscle men walking away from the camera.
- The real problem here is that you’re not able to get to know or bond with any of the leads, so when it’s over, you’re like… “Okay bye then!” This isn’t Stallone and Schwarzenegger-type film, but you may well end up longing for some of their appallingly powerful charisma (and one-liners) when you spend this much time with Triple Frontier’s gang of mopey middle-aged semi-professionals.