Triple Frontier is For the Boys

J.C. Chandor’s latest and weakest film is still a well-made crackerjack action film with charismatic performers at the helm. It’s muscular filmmaking and all that that entails, brimming with macho vigor and brotherly camaraderie. Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal are former Special Forces servicemen beset by post-war life and in need of a shake-up. So when Isaac’s Pope Garcia comes-a-calling about a semi-illegal mission to kill and rob the most powerful drug lord in South America, they put aside their skepticism and join for money and country. Chandor employs speeding dollies among sweeping sets, be it the slums of Colombia or the slopes of the Andes, and the result is propulsive, often tense fire-play through the jungles and mountains of the far south. Frontier enjoys a sense of scope hardly seen on the big screen anymore, not for this price anyway. Mid-budget action films have all but disappeared, so it’s nice to see Netflix coming to the rescue, no matter their dubious intentions. Affleck is half-asleep until a character turn finally wakes him up from a five-year slumber (his last great performance was Gone Girl in 2014), and Isaac is reliably stoic as the ringleader coming to grips with what he’s gotten them all into. Hunnam and Hedlund were born to play brothers, but it’s Pascal whose quiet intensity shines among the warring bravado and mounting resentment from the rest. The cast more than elevates a rote narrative, even if screenwriter Mark Boal’s simple dialogue leaves something to be desired. With guns n’ ammo, and just enough side-eye of greed and attitude, Triple Frontier is the quintessential Dad movie.

Grade: B

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