Triple Frontier came and went when it was released on Netflix last year, and I was shocked. I thought with a cast of all-stars like that, this film would be a surefire win. Now that I've watched it, I'm even more mystified because the film is really good. It's like a grittier Kelly's Heroes but with a far more aggressive approach. Triple Frontier is in many ways, an average heist thriller about five soldiers past their prime teaming up for one last job. But the performances keep it from going full cliche and pull it back into serviceable thriller.
Oscar Isaac plays Pope, the only one still active. He's got a lead on a crime lord he's been after for years, and brings in four of his former comrades to take him down and steal his fortune. There's Redfly (Affleck), Ironhead (Hunnam), Catfish (Pascal), and Ben (Hedlund), the only one not badass enough for a nickname apparently. Together, they manage to get away with $250 million in drug money, but shit goes south as one might expect, and they are stranded in the Andes with a hundred duffel bags full of cold hard cash. The stress of the situation starts getting to them and they begin to turn on each other. This is very much not what I expected this film to be. In fact, it's far better and original.
Each cast member does a fantastic job working in an ensemble, and everyone's character stands out, which is important for heist films. Sure, you can write this movie off if you want. It's pretty generic at times, but there's something entertaining about watching these actors together pull off an impossible job. Especially when you just know that it won't work out the right way. The ensemble, the plan, the improvisation when the plan inevitably goes awry. That's the appeal of the heist film.
This is the 4th time J.C. Chandor has written/directed a film, and I’d say it’s pretty clear that the Netflix funding is something he hasn’t had before. The cast oozes with fan favorites, including Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, and Garrett Hedlund. The audience gets exactly what it wants with a high stakes heist and dramatic moments from some ex-Special Forces operatives whose survival instincts are challenged to the max. It is definitely an entertaining one, but I feel like I’ve seen it before.
It’s amazing that a movie with this quality of production is just available to stream on any device through Netflix. This is how the general public desires to consume things. I get it, you get to sit at home, scratch your nuts, relentlessly eat Cheetos, and pause it if you need to. They are going to keep pumping movies out no matter what. They got their foot in the door with high profile honors awarded to Roma, and incredible internet reactions for something like Bird Box. We all have Netflix, so when we see something like Triple Frontier on their service, we are going to watch it. But, I’m afraid this is just another average Netflix movie.