When you have the likes
of Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Garret Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam, and Pedro Pascal
headlining a film you would expect nothing but the best but sadly, with Triple Frontier, you get nowhere near
it. Big name casts mean nothing.
Triple Frontier explores the actions and consequences of five ex-military
men as they plan and execute a heist in the Amazon jungle. It’s not clear what type
of film it really wants to be – is it an action film? A thriller? An adventure
film? I really don’t know. There is a lot of walking, I know that. Maybe it’s a
cross between Heat, The Losers, and The Lord of the Rings.
There is not a whole lot
to cover here. The directing is fine, the action sequences are great, although
there is really only one – the heist itself, there are a couple other small
shoot outs and a car chase, but they don’t last long. The cast is good, they
are all seasoned professionals and they don’t put a foot wrong. None of it is
worth discussing either way.
What is wrong with Triple Frontier is its ability to give
us characters we care about. The five war veterans played by the aforementioned
five actors are characters we know not nearly enough to make us care about them.
Santiago Garcia (Oscar Isaac) consults with South American police forces and
militaries and has a bad neck and knees. Tom Davis (Ben Affleck) sells real
estate and is going through a nasty divorce, he also struggles to pay bills. William
Miller (Charlie Hunnam) is a public speaker at military bases to help other
vets understand how hard and dangerous it can be readjusting to civilian life.
Ben Miller (Garret Hedlund) is a boxer – not a great one. Francisco Morales
(Pedro Pascal) and his partner just had a baby, and he’s lost his pilot’s
licence due to cocaine use. Drugs, financial issues and sore knees are everyday
problems that everyday people experience – I really struggled to see any reason
that I needed to cheer for these guys while they commit murder and theft to
make their own lives easier.
Columbia will also benefit
from the heist as it will remove drug king pin Gabriel Lorea (Reynaldo
Gallegos) from power, of which he holds in spades. The only character who is
someone we could possibly care about is Yovanna, played by Adria Arjona. She is
an employee of the drug-lord Yovanna is also Santiago’s lover and is trying
hard to convince him to get rid of Lorea. She is the only one truly concerned
for her country and is between a rock and a hard place as being a part of the
heist is the only way she can help bring Lorea down, even if it means she will
The heist is a success, but the getaway plan is where things go really awry, which presents the next issue. We’re subjected to watching this group of guys we don’t care about sit on a helicopter for some an amount of time, and then walk through jungles and over mountains with $200 odd million in bags (that’s a lot of bags by the way). The waiting game becomes a complete bore as the tension of the heist is over, and the uninteresting characters don’t make the tedium any easier. At one point a donkey falls off of a cliff to its demise and I sort of hoped that everything and everyone else would too so it could end. The epitome of the boredom comes when we sit there watching the team pass bag after bag to each other, moving so slowly that even a snail could overtake them. Maybe the film is trying to showcase determination and commitment. If that is the case, then maybe I could make 125-minute film about people determined to sit through this one.
Director: J.C. Chandor Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam Writers: Mark Boal, J.C. Chandor
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