Film review - Triple Frontier
PUBLISHED: 12:16 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:16 22 March 2019
A new offering on Netflix makes for Mark Goodin’s latest film review.
Co-written by The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal, J. C. Chandor’s latest intense feature sees Oscar Isaac’s special forces operative Santiago ‘Pope’ Garcia lure former military companions Tom (Ben Affleck), Francisco (Pedro Pascal) and brothers William (Charlie Hunnam) and Ben Miller (Garrett Hedlund) out of retirement to kill South American drug leader Gabriel Lorea (Reynaldo Gallegos) and steal his million dollar fortune. While the heist goes according to plan, the group’s escape goes disastrously wrong.
Following a tense stand-off reminiscent of The Hurt Locker or Sicario Boal and Chandor perhaps spend a little too much time padding the first act out with exposition-heavy dialogue and overfamiliar back stories, as Santiago draws the group together.
It is in the film’s second act where things really pick up, with the director capturing the companions’ careful, intelligent mapping out and execution of the heist in a series of breathless action sequences and quiet, intense exchanges.
Chandor handles their escape with equal aplomb, expertly ratcheting up the tension as the veterans are plunged in increasingly intense and dangerous circumstances– a disastrous helicopter flight over the Andes and a fateful confrontation with a group of armed farmers are stand- out sequences.
The performances are also strong. Isaac is on dependable, charismatic form and Affleck delivers his best turn in years. However, the film at times feels overstuffed and for all its intensity lacks the nuance of Chandor’s previous work, but is nevertheless a gripping action thriller.