Film Review: Triple Frontier

Netflix once again proves that they are among the premier production companies in Hollywood with the release of their newest film, Triple Frontier.

The story centers on a group of retired former Special Forces operatives who reunite to execute a multi-million dollar heist from a drug cartel kingpin who is located deep within the South American jungle. As the events unfold and spiral out of control, the team members must rely on each other and fight both the cartel soldiers and the South American environment as they struggle to escape with the stolen money.

The interplay and familial bonds of the squad is the core of the film, which is anchored and bolstered by the outstanding performances of its stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac. These men display a brotherly closeness that entices the viewer to become invested in the characters as they progress through the story. In particular, Affleck’s performance can be counted as one of his best from this decade. He evokes so many emotions with his subdued performance, that one can’t help but feel sympathetic as we watch him struggle to maintain a stable post military life. Likewise, Affleck also conjures feelings of frustration and despair as he is faced with decisions that jeopardize his team and the heist, all while trying to maintain focus on his personal reason for embarking on this mission.

At times, I felt as if I were watching an modern amalgamation of Heat and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Affleck’s obsession with escaping with the stolen money, regardless of the consequences, mirrors Humphrey Bogart’s iconic role of Fred Dobbs in the latter film; where viewers witness the devolution of a likable hero into a detestable villain, twisted by his own desires and motivations.

The action is fast paced and highlights the elite military training that the main characters possess, as they execute their initial plan efficiently and precisely. It isn’t until human emotions and desires sway the mission from successful to impossible. It is evident that the film’s creators have a solid grasp on simulating military action, in particular the screenwriters, who previously worked on the modern war films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.

I have no problem saying that my favorite parts of the film were the musical interludes that foreshadowed particular events in the film. Watching the operatives maneuver in the jungle while Bob Dylan and Creedence Clearwater Revival played gave the film a dark undertone, much like Apocalypse Now. However, it was the use of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Orion” as musical bookends that cemented the emotional scope of what the viewers experienced alongside the characters. As “For Whom the Bell Tolls” played, it felt as if you were getting dropped into a warzone right alongside Oscar Isaac, and when “Orion” played over the last scene, I couldn’t help but feel the loss and disillusionment that Isaac’s character felt after making it out alive.

I can’t wait to see what Netflix has planned for the future, as Triple Frontier is an excellent example of the stellar filmmaking that Netflix offers.

Verdict :    A-

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